Guest Post by Jane Wilson
Getting kids to do chores around the house is one of the most common causes for arguments among families. You yell “Please clean your room”, and you always receive an “I’ll do it later” from your kid, who is probably watching TV or playing some game. The reason most kids don’t enjoy doing chores, is the same why adults don’t like doing it – because it’s boring, tiring and unpleasant.
Let’s be realistic, doing the dishes doesn’t bring you the same satisfaction you get from watching a movie or doing something fun. We, as adults, understand that doing chores is important, because we have no other choice, but children are often a little too optimistic. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do chores though, helping around the house will help them grow into responsible and caring adults, which is every parent’s goal. Here are a few tips to assist you in getting your kids to do chores.
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Turn it into a game.
Kids use their imagination in everything they do. So, you should use your imagination to make them clean their room too. Turn cleaning into a rescue game, where the kids have to save the toys from the dust. Cooking can be turned into a dance party, where your kids can help you arrange the table and prepare something simple while dancing around the kitchen. Laundry time can also be turned into some kind of game; you can be robots, characters from a movie, cowboys, or anything else you want. Moreover, the best part is, that most children have such active imaginations, that you won’t have to think too hard. Just give them an idea and watch them go.
Provide them challenges.
There are many things you can offer your kids in return for their help, but the truth is, that using the rewards method is not always the best solution. This will only make them look for rewards for even the simplest tasks, and you don’t need that. Instead, you can try motivating them by providing them with challenges. This will both motivate them to help you, and it will teach them valuable life lessons in the process. So, don’t be afraid to make things a little difficult. For instance, if your child helps you vacuum the floor and has done it a couple of times already, next time you can make them vacuum the floor by themselves. The next time you can challenge them to do it faster, and so on. This will teach them to be more consistent and creative, which will help them a lot in life.
Don’t use chores as a punishment.
Many parents use chores as a form of punishment when their kids misbehave. This is a very faulty tactic, because how do you expect your kid to like doing chores, when you tell them it’s a punishment from an earliest age. You practically work against yourself by doing this, because your kids will start to associate chores with punishment, and they won’t be happy to do them for no reason. The only way you can use cleaning as punishment, is if you have siblings, and one does something bad to the other. Making the guilty party make amends by taking care of the other sibling’s responsibility is a fair judgement.
Present a greater purpose.
Kids are much more likely to help you with the cleaning tasks around your house, if you present it to them properly. Even though kids may seem lazy and unmotivated to do housework, they still want to be included in something bigger than them, which will make them feel important, needed and appreciated. So, saying things like “Thank you, you helped a lot” or even “We couldn’t have done it without you” will do miracles for their motivation. Giving high fives for each completed task is also a good way to get your kids to do chores.
Give your kids some autonomy.
Of course, that doesn’t mean to leave them to do whatever they feel like. However, allowing them to make their own cleaning schedule, for instance, is a good move. Find tasks, which are suitable for your child, and allow them to decide on their own how and when to do them. This way they will feel less pressure from your side, which will allow them to find their own way when it comes to helping out around the house. The more self-sufficient kids feel, the more motivated they are. It’s our goal to prepare them for the future, and the best way to do it is by starting from an earliest age.
Author bio: Jane Wilson is a motivated young mother, blogger and business owner from Melbourne. She owns a small home improvement blog, called Modern Housewives, where she shares all kinds of advice on gardening, home maintenance and kids, as well as interesting things to see around Melbourne. She is also responsible for the local branch of Fantastic Cleaners, a company which provides all kinds of cleaning and housekeeping services.