Household chores are definitely not fun for both adults and children. But we all have no choice. If we don’t do it, then the house will be an insufferable mess. Especially for those who have kids, a messy home is a no-no, because the children might get sick from poor hygiene and sanitation problems. Doing household chores in an organized and clockwork-like manner actually has its advantages (aside from getting a clean home). We don’t really have to enjoy doing it, but this is where we can start instilling a sense of discipline and initiative for the kids.
Assigning daily household chores for kids will make them more responsible, and it can teach them time management and discipline early on in their lives. The problem is, how do you get them to participate enthusiastically? Below are 5 ways to motivate them:
Come Up with A Reward System
This is probably the most common way to motivate kids to do household chores – and it is also very effective! However, it is important to not overdo it. You don’t have to dole out treats and surprises every day, just do it weekly, bi-weekly, or even once a month. Just keep track of their activities for a whole week (or month), and then give the reward after the agreed period.
Tracking their activities in a fun and creative way can also make chores enjoyable for the kids. Use a drawing board and then use colorful stars to indicate finished tasks. Draw on sad faces for unfinished tasks and then add sticky notes for pending to-dos. The more stars they earn at the end of the week (or month), the nicer their reward will be.
Your rewards may also be in the form of additional allowances. The more chores they have done, the bigger the allowances they get. For unfinished chores, you may also subtract a dollar or so from their regular allowance.
However, do make sure to give fair warnings and reminders. Don’t subtract from their allowance right away. If possible, call the child’s attention and remind them about the chore – if they still won’t do it, that’s the time you can keep a dollar away from them. Communication is still a crucial part in all this, and it is important to make the child understand why his/her behavior is going to have consequences.
Schedule A Mix of Chores Per Child
Doing certain chores repetitively for weeks and months on end will certainly bore the kids (even adults). So why not switch up the chore assignments every week, or schedule different shifts and chores for every child like some sort of clockwork in a weekly or monthly basis? You may also randomize chore assignments by writing them on slips of paper and have the kids pull them out from a fishbowl to see which chore they would be assigned next. Posting a daily cleaning checklist help organize the chores.
Do Some Chores Together
Children learn from their parents – not just in the things we tell them, but through the things that we show them. We are their models! So, if you constantly assign them chores, but you hardly do any other chores yourself, they will grow a little resentful. Take time to do some of those chores together.
Help your kid place away from the dishes after washing them, have them pour disinfectant while you are mopping parts of the kitchen floor, or pull out some weeds together during a lovely Sunday afternoon. Aside from helping them a little bit with their tasks, you also get to have some quality bonding time!
Make Sure You Assign Age-Appropriate Chores
Doing chores is not exactly a fun way to pass the time, and kids will surely hate them even more if the chores assigned to them are difficult to do. 5-year-olds cannot even reach the sink yet, and some kitchen utensils are still too heavy for them.
The key to making their chores a little enjoyable is to ensure that they are actually doable for the child. 4-year and 5-year-olds, for example, can do well to put away their toys, feed pets, and water plants, but they cannot be of much help when it comes to car washing or floor mopping. These tasks are still difficult for them. Those chores are more appropriate for older kids (10 years old and above). Make sure you assign only age-appropriate chores. You’ll see that the kids will be more than willing to do it if it is doable and easier for them.
Offer “Rest Days”
This can be part of your reward system, but it can also be an entirely different scheme altogether. Let your kids have the option to choose a rest day – a day that they don’t have to touch anything or do any chores. Like any task, doing chores all day for the whole month can burn them out, and it will be difficult to make them participate again. Make them choose a rest day, but make sure no two kids will be off on the same day.
Don’t forget to offer your kids some guidance – especially if they are still new to certain chores. Make sure you provide them with proper instructions and guide them properly around the house to avoid future accidents and mistakes.
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