According to a research poll conducted by Braun in 2014, 82% of the parents that they grew up doing chores, and only 28% of them require their kids to do them. It is hard to get kids to do chores nowadays because of a lot of distractions. Most kids are preoccupied with their hobbies, electronics, and video games. For them, doing chores is boring, and they feel mom got it all covered. You do not want your children to always depend on you. You want them to grow up responsible. But how do you get them to do tasks at home?
Dan Pink, author of New York Times' best sellers shared in an article "I'm Author Daniel Pink, and This Is How I Parent," that "The reason they do chores is because it’s part of their obligation to the other members of the family." Chores teach your kids how to be responsible, self-reliant, and make decisions on their own. Kids feel that they are part of the team and they are contributing something good to the family. They can also hone skills that can be useful later in life. We want the best for our kids, and we want them to grow with independence. Here are the best ways to encourage them to do household chores.
Scroll to the bottom for our PDF Chore List Chart for kids of all ages.
1. Start Them Young
As early as two years old, you can introduce the idea of chores to your little one. You can show them that mommy is cleaning, putting away toys, sweeping floors, etc. Children this age find their parents as their role models and often mimics the things they do. If they offer help, teach them safe tasks that they can easily accomplish. You can ask them to put their toys in the box or dirty clothes in the laundry. Pick up trash and throw it in the bin. Pick up books and put them on shelves. Simple tasks can help them develop independence and learn how to follow instructions.
2. Age-Appropriate Chores
If your child says that one chore is difficult for them, even if you showed them how to do it, listen to your kid. That specific chore may not match their abilities yet. Choose age-appropriate skills, especially for little children. You can also assign easy tasks first until they can move on to the next level. For instance, a three-year-old is unable to dust every surface in the house. You can ask them to wipe reachable surfaces only. Turn those into baby steps until they are ready to learn the new tasks.
3. The Importance of Cleanliness
Teach your kids the importance of having a clean surrounding. Let them know that a clean space is good for their health and it keeps diseases away. A clean room uplifts a person's mood and makes them feel relaxed. It will also help improve their focus and their sleep. For little children, explain that a tidy room keeps the roaches and other bugs away. Be an example and influence your kids to clean their rooms regularly. Remember that they look up to you and do what you do. We as parents hope that they make this a habit and develop discipline and control. We want them to grow up accountable for their own spaces.
What could be better than the entire family working as a team? Let your kids know that everyone in the family should have a chore contribution. Explain that all of you need to work together to accomplish all the tasks. Set a chore time and assign tasks to each member. It could be after breakfast or in the afternoon. Once done, tell them that they all did a wonderful job and that all of you can have ice cream or have a movie night bonding.
5. Draw lots
Kids may find chores repetitive and boring. To avoid that and to add an element of surprise, you can do draw lots. You can use popsicle sticks and write tasks on each. Each child gets to pick one and do that task for the day. This way, everyone gets to try different work. This is to make them feel that they are not stuck in one task and that they have a chance to choose, by luck.
Who doesn't want to work hard if you will be rewarded? Rewards are good encouragements, and it makes cleaning fun and exciting. It doesn't have to be cash or anything that involves money. You can give simple rewards like giving stars, stickers, stamps for your little tots. You can serve them their favorite snack, candy bar, or popcorn. For older kids, you can give an extra hour for screen time or they can stay up late for a movie night.
7. Making Chores Fun
Chores can be tedious, but you can make it fun by incorporating games into them! One example is setting a timer. Let your kids do their tasks for a certain period of time. Who finishes first wins! A timed-task allows them to focus more and work fast. It is your discretion if you want to give rewards. For little kids, they can pretend to play basketball by tossing the laundry into its bin.
Be creative and make cleaning fun. You can come up with wonderful ideas based on your kids' preferences. You can also play upbeat music to lighten up the vibe.
8. Do Not Make Demands
Do not expect your kids to do the tasks smoothly, and do not get mad about it. They can only do things based on their abilities. Let them practice autonomy, and it would be best not to be controlling. Teach them the right way to do things. If they are doing the chore routinely, they can learn ways on how to do better. Instead of nagging, praise them for helping. What truly matters is their participation and willingness to help.
9. Positive Reinforcement
Do not use negative words about chores and do not use it as a punishment. A way to encourage your child is by using positive reinforcement. Notice and appreciate your kid's efforts in cleaning. Tell them they did good and that their work is fantastic! Hearing these words from you leaves a big impact. They learn to believe that they can do anything and have self-confidence. They will be more eager and motivated to clean and to help.
10. Make It A Routine
Your child will not learn if you let them do a chore just for one day. You have to be consistent and place the responsibility in their hands. You need to set a daily routine to do chores assigned to them. By doing so, they will get used to it and eventually make it a habit. Simple tasks like picking up their toys or putting the dirty clothes away can make a difference. Once they develop it as a habit, you can level up their chores like mopping the floor or dusting furniture. Of course, it still has to be age-appropriate. A kids chores chart or a chore list can also be helpful.
But don't worry, we have it all ready for you!
Download HERE Your Child's Chore Chart for Kids from Toddlers to Middle School.