When children are younger, they are usually enthusiastic about “helping mummy out with her chores”, but as they grow older, the enthusiasm fades and it becomes quite difficult to get them to do chores and help out around the house.
Making your children do chores and help out in the home not only reduces your workload as a parent, it also teaches your children to take responsibility for themselves and be contributing members of the family.
How to get your children to complete their chores
- Make them feel grown up: Children most times like to feel grown up. Use this to your advantage. Make your child feel that he/she is now taller, stronger and more careful, hence he/she should be able to carry out some chores easily.
- Make the chores are-appropriate: Children can begin helping around the house as young as three years old. However, it’s important that children be given age-appropriate chores. Young children should be assigned small chores that will increase in difficulty as the child grows older. There are chores for certain age brackets. A 2-year-old can pick up toys, while a 6-year-old can carry his/her dishes to the sink.
- Model a good attitude: It’s important that as a parent, you model a good attitude about carrying out house chores. When you complain while performing house chores, your children will begin to dislike it and it’ll be harder to get them to help out around the house. Share with your children the satisfaction you feel after completing a task at home, this will encourage and motivate them to perform their assigned chores.
- Make it a team effort: Young children seem to respond better when household tasks are presented as a shared family responsibility. Work side by side with your children when doing house chores. This makes them feel like they “Belong”, thereby increasing your chances of getting them to do more chores without resistance.
- Make it a fun experience: The seven dwarfs in “Sleeping beauty” sang as they did their chores, “Cinderella” sung also while performing her chores. Young children see these fantasy characters in cartoons as role models. Remind your children that even their role models in cartoons do their chores. Come up with fun songs or games you can play with your children while you all are doing house chores.
Benefits Of Chores For Children
- Personal responsibility
- Learning necessary life skills
- A sense of accomplishment
- Enhanced sense of self-worth
- Order and organization
- Feeling like part of the family and by extension, a team
- Knowing where to find things they need, so they aren’t scrambling for clean clothes or their shoes when it is time to go to school
- Learning to live in cooperation with others such as roommates or relationship partners
Try to focus more on the effort the child is making and not the outcome. If a child feels that what they are doing is not good enough, they may not even attempt. But if you encourage and praise the effort the child has made, it will encourage him/her to do more and do better.
This parenting approach has both short-term and long-term benefits. Not only do you get help with the daily household chores, but in the long run your children are more responsible, self-sufficient and work better with others.