Assigning chores to your kids is a big part of growing up – at least, it should be! Many parents tend to find it hard to allocate jobs to kids and teens without being met with protest, tears, and arguments. Not only that, but sometimes they just don’t seem to be capable of doing the job at all! In the end you end up cleaning, which can leave you more exhausted, more frustrated, and can sometimes put everyone in a bad mood. That’s no way to live!
We’re currently at this stage with our eldest son, Lewis. Trying to show him the importance of household chores and why he needs to start helping out (even at 5 years of age). So how can we go about getting our kids involved in chores?
1. Talk About Which Chores Need Doing
Chores tend to be age specific, and anything that requires serious care like cleaning the bathroom or washing up knives after dinner shouldn’t be on the rota. Indeed, kids should always be started off with small jobs; for example, dusting the bookshelf, rearranging the coffee table, or plumping the sofa cushions, to name a few.
If you keep the jobs small like this, they won’t find them hard to do (or much to complain about), and they’ll also have a clear idea of what to expect from the job. And if you discuss it as a family, they’ll feel like they’ve been part of the decision – it’s not just something they have to do now.
2. Walk Them Through the Steps
All kids need to learn how to run their own homes when they get older, and that starts right here. And it’s dangerous to assume your child or teen already knows how to wash the dishes or put laundry sanitiser into the washing machine; you’ve done it in front of them countless times, but they probably weren’t paying attention!
So walk them through the chore once you’ve all decided it’s now their job, and ensure you break it down into simple steps they can follow without too many questions. The simpler it is, the quicker it’ll get done, and the easier the chore rota will be filled up!
3. Put on Music
Music makes everything a little more bearable, don’t you think? Your kids certainly do! It’s lovely to have something to sing and dance along to in the background, and it’ll make the work of chores go much faster. And unlike putting on a favourite TV show or cartoon, it won’t be anywhere near as distracting for them.
4. Have a Little Treat for the End of the Week
Chores should be a normal part of your kids’ lifestyle, so rewarding them with big things isn’t quite the way. Doing so may turn these jobs into something they do only for the reward, rather than help them build responsibility and life skills. But you can still let them have a treat to keep them sweet. Maybe a bigger pudding than they’re usually allowed? And remember, words of praise always go a long way!
Assigning chores needn’t be difficult. Keep it simple, keep the kids in the loop, and voila!
Got Something to Add?
What’s your technique and tactics for getting your kids involved in household chores? Share them in the comments section below.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Helen, Nial, Lewis & Mason.