No matter the age, it can sometimes be challenging to get children to help around the house. When children are young, they’d much rather be playing than helping to pick up toys. As they get older, things such as homework, sports, and other activities take up more of their time. And, of course, kids are just like adults – which means they probably just don’t like cleaning.
But that doesn’t mean that children shouldn’t have chores. Chores teach responsibility, life skills, teamwork, and respect. They can help with time management and allow children to develop a work ethic. And, as silly as it may seem, it can give you a few moments together as a family when everyone is busy and going in different directions.
If you’re looking for some ways to get your children to help around the house, here are a few ideas to help.
Give Children Age-Appropriate Chores
When you begin to think about chores your child can help with around the house, you want them to be age-appropriate. While this seems like a no-brainer, if you don’t pick chores that your children can do successfully, you are setting them up for failure and yourself up for frustration. You might start by having young children pick up the toys they play with, while letting teenagers do their own laundry.
Use Chore Charts
One of the common excuses that all children use for not doing chores is, “I forgot.” Chore charts can help keep track of when tasks get done (or not done). Additionally, they can act as motivation for younger children. There are a wide variety of chore charts available online – all you need to do is print one that works for your family to get started.
Make the Expectations Known
Children and parents can both experience frustration when it comes to chores, most often stemming from the fact that the expectations aren’t clear. No matter what the age of the child, they need to know the appropriate way to complete the tasks you’ve given them. Young children need to know if you want all of their toys put away before bedtime. If you expect that school-age children make their bed before they leave for school, tell them. When everyone is on the same page, it makes chores infinitely easier.
Practice Makes Perfect
And, while you may have shared your expectations with your kids, they may not get their chores “just right” at first. But when you take the time to demonstrate how the chores should be done, assist them in their initial attempts, and supervise as they practice the skills on their own, you’ll soon have kids who know exactly what to do when it’s chore time.
Schedule Chore Time
If everyone has a busy schedule throughout the week, then you may need to schedule chore time – for the entire family. Choose a time when everyone can tackle their chores at the same time and get after it. Turn up the music and have some fun together as a family as you tackle the to-do list.
The offering of rewards is a personal choice, but if you think your children can be motivated by rewards, then go for it! Younger kids might be rewarded by stickers or stamps, while school-age children may want toys, and teenagers might want money or gift cards.
Let There Be Consequences
Of course, if chores aren’t completed, then there needs to be consequences – whether natural ones or ones you impose. If your teenager is responsible for his own laundry and he doesn’t do the wash for two weeks, it’s not your fault that his favorite shirt isn’t ready when he wants to wear it. That’s a natural consequence. For younger children, you explain that if toys aren’t picked up that they will not be able to play with them for a certain period of time. Consequences can help ensure that chores are done – and done right.
Children and chores don’t have to be a constant struggle in your home. When you implement these ideas, children can learn the value of helping around the house and how to properly do the tasks you’ve given them.
If you still need some help keeping your home clean, give Mini Maid a try. We provide a wide variety of residential services and guarantee your satisfaction. You can get a free online quote or call us at 352-374-4141.