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How to Get Your Kids to Help With Chores

Ronali is a freelance writer and editor who was granted an Awardicon for A Wonderful Family Article by Writing[dot]com.

It’s natural for young children to want to spend time with their parents. But doing household chores often cause mom and dad to take many hours away from their kids.

So what's the solution? Use this as an opportunity to get your children to help you out with chores, and discover endless ways to bond with them.

Children must be taught to shoulder their responsibilities at home-making, even at an early age. Get rid of the idea that you’ll give them chores only as a form of punishment. And as long as you make the tasks appropriate for their age and ability, performing household chores will give your children a sense of fulfillment, which will enhance their self-esteem.

One of the key things to keep in mind is that although children would need to exert their best efforts to finish a task, perfection should not be required from them.

Avoid slave-driving or ordering your kids around. Instilling discipline, perseverance, and the value of cooperation as a result of asking your children to help with chores should be done with a gradual, gentle approach.

The following is not an exhaustive list, but just some simple, basic tips on what to do:

how-to-get-your-kids-to-help-with-chores

Provide Child-Appropriate Cleaning Equipment

Who wouldn’t want clean floors and neatly dusted furniture? However, you can’t expect your kids to handle adult-sized equipment.

Miniature brooms, mops, pails, dustbins, and even gardening tools can be purchased at hardware stores in major shopping malls. Teach your children to use each tool properly by demonstrating. As they’re able to catch on, you should be able to supervise them, since safety is also crucial.

Break Down One Big Chore into Smaller Tasks, and then Delegate

A chore that is easy for adults may seem overwhelming for children. If you expect them to fold a mountain of washed laundry, employ the "divide-and-conquer" attitude. Smaller children can fold hankies, while older kids can be assigned towels and shirts.

Use Repetition

Children learn through continuous reinforcement, so be patient, even if it may take a while for them to do a task properly.

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Use a step-by-step approach when explaining what should be done and when. In the case of folding towels, you can instruct them that each fold should be one-fourth of the entire towel.

Use a Chart to Track Your Kids' Progress

Create a chart out of poster board or illustration board, and include which chores must be done by whom, the time of day, and on which days of the week.

Bargain

This is especially helpful during extremely hectic days and your kids don’t feel like helping out. You can work around a regular schedule, but still remain flexible.

To illustrate, you can negotiate with your kids that they can have an extra 30 minutes of playtime on a weekend afternoon if they'll help you set the table or prepare dinner on weekday nights.

how-to-get-your-kids-to-help-with-chores

Offer a Helping Hand Whenever Needed

If a task proves to be too difficult, don’t allow your children to take the easy way out and quit. Instead, make things easier for them by offering assistance. This will give them the impression that you’re a team and that they can rely on you.

Would Rewards be Helpful?

Occasionally, offering a small incentive like a sheet of stickers or grabbing an ice cream cone the next time you go out is all right. But keep in mind that in the long run, your kids shouldn't be rewarded for every single chore they've done right.

Avoid Being Overly Meticulous or Critical

It’s vital for children to develop a positive attitude towards chores. If you’re always nagging them, the experience of carrying out their assigned tasks will turn out to be a negative one for them.

Balance constructive criticism with a kind word or praise, such as:

"Your room looks so neat after you put away all your toys. You did a good job."

"Thank you for helping me wash the dishes. That was very thoughtful of you."

Children need their parents for guidance when doing household chores. Keep these basic tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way towards making tasks pleasant for them.

© 2022 Ronali dela Cruz

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