Kids do not like doing chores for the same reason you and I don’t like doing them. Chores are boring, tiring, and sometimes frustrating. Children need to take part in the regular tasks of running a household, but it is often difficult to get them moving. In fact, getting kids to do chores is one of the most common household arguments. The sooner you can make chores a part of your regular routine, the easier time you’ll have getting them to pitch in as they get older. Use these five tips to get your kids to help with the household chores.
1. Inspire independence.
Bossiness is not motivating. Allow your kids to offer input and genuinely listen to it. If one thinks she’s an expert window washer, let her wash the windows, even if it takes her longer than you would like. Rather than dole out orders, use language that suggests the family has to solve a problem together. Try: “In our family, we all make our own beds in the morning.” If you can make your kids feel independent, they’ll be more motived to take on their own tasks.
2. Make it fun.
Throughout most of their chores, your children are thinking about all the exciting activities they’re missing. Do whatever you can to bring some enjoyment to your routine so they don’t drag their feet. Turn mundane tasks into games, race to see who can clean fastest, or rock out to some music.
3. Make it kid-friendly.
Pick up some tools that won’t be too large and awkward in your children’s hands. Smaller brooms, mops, and dusting equipment are all available online. Give them smaller, easier tasks like hanging up all the coats, lining up shoes, putting away toys, or stacking books. Avoid asking them to complete vague, multi-step processes, like “tidy up the living room.”
Helpful tip: Costumes make kids feel like they’re apart of the action. Have your child wear a small apron or smock.
4. Add motivation.
It’s tough to motivate your kids with abstract concepts like duty to the family or the importance of helping each other. You might need something a little more powerful. If you can afford it, an allowance in exchange for labor is fine, and your children learn valuable lessons about working for their money. Otherwise, you can reward them with a later bedtime or an extra hour watching TV.
If your children are young enough, motivation might be as simple as a chart with stickers so they can track their own good behavior. As always, heap the praise when they do as you instruct.
5. Start early.
Being a part of the family doesn’t start at age seven, or eight, or nine. It starts from their first breath. Admittedly, infants don’t care much for tidy rooms, and they’re terrible with a vacuum, but children should be involved in the household tasks as soon as they’re capable (and it’s safe). Give out little chores as soon as your children understand, even if those tasks will not save you any time. If you create a pattern of helping out, you’ll build a happier, more efficient household.
Written by Kim Webb, CEO and Founder of Rockin’ Green Soap
Finally it’s cool to be GREEN! Rockin’ Green is made for families that care about taking care of themselves and the Earth. As a mom Kim was fed up with the empty promises of “green” cleaning products that were not delivering what they promised… So she invented Rockin’ Green! We can all do our part for the environment while doing something good for ourselves. All of our organic cleaning products are biodegradable, and gluten and vegan friendly. They don’t contain phosphates, SLS, Parabens, or optical brighteners. All of our packaging is made from recycled materials.
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