5 Ways To Get Your Children to Help With the Household Chores

Create Age Appropriate Chores for Each ChildWhen 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?

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Comments

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30 Responses

  1. Regina says:

    I give my kids an old grocery sack and have them have a contest to see who can pick up more ‘treasure’. That takes care of the trash they throw everywhere (paper that’s cut up).

    We then count how many books are on the floor as we put them away, count the cars, etc.

  2. I started my kids early with chores…with something as simple as putting away their toys after playing with them. This is a very good list/tips. Thanks!

  3. Lexie says:

    Great tips! I know that praising them definitely helps. They love recognition, especially for good things!

  4. Deborah says:

    Good information. You can get kids more involved if you make it fun. I think parents forget that sometimes. They’re so focused on getting their kids to just do the chore. I’ll have to share this with my son for my grandkids.

  5. Meli says:

    What an excellent way to teach children about life, a way to show them how they can be an important part of a family, show them they can be successful, give them support and encouragement. Thanks for the great information!

  6. My boys are 14 and 12, and they are pretty good with doing their chores. Each one has assigned chores, and they can’t play their video games until they are completed. You should see sometimes how they actually work together!

    • Christy says:

      That is great to hear that your kids work together. I have had to separate my older two kids because they argue or take too long to get a simple chore done.

  7. My mom always had chore charts, and they really worked with the 7 of us:)

  8. DelSheree says:

    These are great suggestions. Now that I’m out of school, we really want to do better with having the kids help out around the house. Your suggestion on a chore chart will work really well for us I think. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Don Purdum says:

    This is a great way to teach kids responsibility. We never gave our kids an option. They MUST do their daily assignments. We remind them you live here and contribute to the mess, so you get to help clean it. Period!

    • Christy says:

      I agree Don, thank you for sharing. Yes, as a parent if I cleaned up every mess my kids made then they would leave a mess when they are older. Then they would except someone else to clean it up. Which we all know that in the real world we have to clean up after ourselves at work and in public places. Cleaning up their messes wouldn’t teach them anything.

  10. Cleaning is one of the stressful task. If you have a right guide to do this task properly then It becomes easy and well way.Thanks for shared great tips for cleaning all the chores properly and in a well manner.

  11. Great tips! I also find that it helps to equate all this work to the Kiddo’s life later as well as to how it helps me out now. So it’s not just, “Mom’s making me do all this work for her benefit,” but, “I’m going to have to know how to do this in my own home someday soon, and when I help Mom out she’s less stressed and we can have more fun!”

  12. Chores are a constant battle for us. I struggle constantly with this with our school-age kids. Not sure if it’s the age or if I did something wrong! :(

    • Christy says:

      Robbie I highly doubt that you did anything wrong. Most children see chores as work, but as a parent we all know that we have to actually do work in life in order to have the things that we have.

      In our house, we have the kids do their homework first and then they have to complete their daily chore before they can even think about playing. I have two older kids and one does a load of laundry and I have my other child do a load of dishes/clean up dinner and kitchen detail.

  13. I would say if you would praise them that will really help have my own experience.

  14. MJ says:

    These are wonderful ideas. I am terrible at following through with making the kids do their chores but this will help

  15. Kimberly says:

    This is definitely something that I need to take notes from for my 5 year old. Getting him to do chores is an all day thing especially since he gets sidetracked constantly.

  16. I am totally agree with you its hard task but definitely follow this as well.

  17. These are really helpful tips i am amazed!

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