When my daughter was born, I knew that I wanted to do things differently than my parents and I wanted to teach my own children the value of helping around the house. Children are capable of doing simple chores and most of the time they are willing to help. Giving your child small chores or tasks can help them learn life skills while teaching them responsibility. Children want to feel needed and wanted; in fact, children who help with household chores are likely to feel as needed because they are contributing to the household chores.
Disclosure: The opinions reflected in this post are my own and may differ from your opinions.
Make Cleaning Fun
Who said cleaning up has to be boring. Try to make cleaning fun and something that the entire family enjoys doing together. When you are cleaning up you can have races, sing songs, or come up with other creative ways to make cleaning fun. Younger children often love singing ‘the clean up song’ while cleaning up, this is something that my son’s daycare does to get the children to help pick up the toys after playtime is over with. Not only can be cleaning fun but if everyone is helping then the chores can be done quicker so that you can all spend time together doing something fun, like going swimming, watching a movie, ect.
Divide and Conquer the Household Chores
When dividing up the chores among family members, it is important make sure that you give each child age appropriate chores. Many parents often feel that their children are capable of doing chores or that they should wait until their child is older before getting their child to help with the household chores; however, the opposite is true. You can easily find something that each of your children is capable of doing such as picking up the toys off the floor or gathering up the laundry so that it can be taken to the laundry room. It is important that you teach your child how to do different chores and teach them about teamwork too. It is perfectly find to teach or show them how to do a chore. Next time you are doing a new chore have them team up with you so that they watch/help you do something new. For example, moving the clothes from the washer to the dryer. You can take the clothes from the washer and hand them to your child. Then let your child throw them into the dryer. I realize that they are slower at doing things than if you were to just do it yourself. But you are teaching them valuable skills so that they can one day do it themselves.
Never Expect Your Child to Do Their Chores Perfectly
Don’t expect your child to do the chores perfectly, especially, the first time that your child does a specific chore all by themselves. Remember that no one is perfect and you should never expect your child to have their chore done perfectly. When asking your child to do a chore and it isn’t up to your expectation, the worst thing you can do is to criticize them for their efforts and end up doing their chores for them. Instead, you should judge their work based upon their appropriate age level and give them constructive feedback. Do ask them to correct their mistake if the chore isn’t completed properly or take their hand and show them how to do it correctly. In fact, when starting a child is learning a brand new chore, it is best for them to watch and learn so that they know what to expect when the chore needs to be done. The next time when the chore has to be done again, ask your child to do the chore while you assist them with the chore. Then next time it needs to be done your child can attempt to complete the chore on their own.
Offer Praise While Your Child is Working On Completing their Chores
As your child is working on their chores, do offer praise and encouragement if they are doing a great job. Your child is more likely to help if they are praised. It is very important to praise them while they are working and never wait to praise them until the chore is completed. The goal is to boost their self confidence and teach them how to properly contribute to the family chores. Your child will feel great knowing that they were able to successfully complete the task that you asked them to do. When giving your child a task to do, it is also important that you give them very specific details. Broad terms can mean different things to different people, do remember that everyone’s perception of clean differs so be specific as possible so that they know exactly what is expected of them.
Don’t Let Your Child Procrastinate or Leave Their Chores Unfinished
Consistency is key when it comes to getting your child to help with the family chores. Sometimes, your child will get distracted and will end up playing instead of doing their chores like you asked them to do. Kids do take notice and will procrastinate in hopes that you will get upset and finish their chores for them. Instead, follow up with their progress and redirect them if necessary. When setting deadlines do make sure that they aren’t overly harsh or demanding. Instead, try using the “if/then” technique. For example, if the dogs are feed then you may go play with your toys.
Use a Chore Chart to Keep Up With the Household Chores
A chore chart is a great way to list the chores that need to be done on a regular basis to ensure that your household is functioning properly and that chores are being done on a regular basis. The chore chart can allow you to see what chores each family member has and when it should be completed by. After a chore is completed, it can be checked off or marked as completed. Some families also find it helpful to have a chart for weekly chores and daily household chores. Make sure that the chore chart is easy to read and a place where each family member can easily see it. Remember when adding chores to the chore chart to be as specific as possible.
Do your children help with the household chores? How old did you start allowing your children to help with the household chores?