Getting Your Children to Help Around the House – Seriously!!!

Sep 10, 13 Getting Your Children to Help Around the House – Seriously!!!

Can you really get your kids to help around the house? Of course you can!

When I had to take on so many extra responsibilities around our new house, I really struggled. While talking with a friend who was going through a similar situation, I realized that there is no reason why my children, especially my son who is older, couldn’t help out. As I soon found out, getting kids to participate in the household chores can be an uphill battle! But with some patience and perseverance, we found a household routine that worked for us all. Obviously I don’t have my kids doing the laundry or the vacuuming (just yet ha, ha), but they are well aware that they need to contribute.

Here are some things that I found that helped to get my kids doing some chores around the house.

Tip 1- Because I Said So.

Ok I have to admit it, I love saying this. My children are the only people who do not challenge me (yet) when I say ‘because I said so’. My kids know I mean business when I say it so it actually works! Here is an example of how to effectively use the ‘because I said so’ line. I say, “Please clean up your toys.” My son responds with “Whhhyyyyy?” I say “Because I said so.” Before you know it your child will be picking up their toys. Score one for Mom!

Tip 2- Write It Out.

Having a calendar that your kids can see what chores are expected of them is a great visual aid. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment when they can check off tasks that they have completed. My son has a large magnetic calendar on the fridge. Each week we go through and put what homework is assigned for him, what tasks he is expected to do around the house, and any fun events such as field trips at school. This helps to keep him organized while providing him with a sense of responsibility. The calendar has not only been a great tool for my son, but for me as well so I can be up-to-date and involved in what his week looks like.

Tip 3- Provide Motivation.

I am a big fan of providing your child with some sort of reward for a job well done. A reward doesn’t need to be provided every time they do something that is asked of them, but often enough to get them to do the jobs around the house with a positive attitude. You wouldn’t go to work if you were never paid so I modify the pay approach when it comes to my children. Rewards for my son vary, from watching a movie to getting an ice-cream. I want to stress that I am not promoting bribery; rather I am providing incentives to motivate my son. Sometimes I will notice my son will try really hard to clean something, so I might reward him by giving him an extra book to read at night. I also give my son $4 a week as an allowance if he completes all of his chores. This way he has his own earned money if he wants to purchase a new toy or game, which teaches him money management skills as well.

Tip 4- Show Your Appreciation.

In our busy lives it can be difficult to remember that the small things really do make a difference. That is why I try to let my children know what a big help they are and how lucky I am to have them as much as I can. Just like at work, positive recognition can do great things for one’s ego and self-esteem. When I check my son’s clean up job or we check off a task on his calendar, I give him big hug and a “thank you” so he can feel good about his efforts.

These are just some of the ways I try to get my kids to want to help out around the house. I am sure these strategies will need to be tweaked as they get older, especially when I want them to start helping with yard work! How do you motivate your kids to do their chores? Any tips?

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