We all want our kids to learn and do the chores around the house, be it sweeping, putting away laundry, or simply picking up toys from the floor. And it’s not just about them helping you around the house but also for them to learn a sense of responsibility and life skills.
But just telling your kids to do something does not work. Making them do anything they don’t want to do is so much harder than it looks.
So how do you involve your kids in household chores?
Don’t wait for your kid to be older. Imagine, for the first 5 or 6 years of a child’s life, nobody asks him to do anything; everything is handed to him or done for him. Then suddenly everyone starts expecting him to do things that he was sure were not for him, how would the child react? Of course, he will resist it, why would he suddenly want to do things just because you decide it’s time for him to start doing chores?
And that’s why you need to start early; you need to start involving them in chores when they are toddlers and preschoolers. Of course, the chores should be easy and age-appropriate, something they can easily do. For example, you can tell your 2 years old to put the toys in the box, or a 3-year-old to help put clothes in the washing machine.
Give Your Children Choices
Kids like to make decisions; they like to feel in control. So instead of just ordering, give them options, like whether he or she would like to take out the garbage or changes the sheets on his bed, or giving them the option of doing a particular chore now or after lunch.
Don’t Fret the Mess
Younger kids or toddlers are likely to slow things down or make a mess of whatever chore you have them doing. But instead of scolding them, appreciate their effort. Your words of encouragement will do you good in the long haul. Yes, I understand that it’s hard to ignore the mess when you could have done it quickly minus the mess. But that’s how kids learn, so let the mess be!
Praises can do wonders with kids. Look at a child’s face when you praise them for a job well done, and you will understand what I mean. Praises and appreciation inspire them to do more and to do better. So no matter how small or insignificant a thing he or she did, praise your child.
Don’t Use Chores as a Punishment
You want your kids to like doing chores or at least know that it’s part of their life. You want them to be responsible human beings when they grow up. But forcing kids to do chores or using it as a punishment is not the right way to do it. It will make them associate chores with punishment and feelings of resentment. You want your child to learn that a chore is an expected responsibility to be done no matter what.
Don’t make trying to get your kids to do chores into a battle, even if it feels like one. If you keep ordering/nagging them to do things, they won’t, or even if they do they will start resenting you. So, try the above tips to help you get your kids to do chores and see what works for you.