Motivating Your Kids to Complete Their Chores
Is it a chore to get your kids to, well, do their chores? It could be what and how your communicating. We've got some ideas for clear communication that should make chores a lot easier for everyone.
- Define the terms. To you, "clean your room" probably means make your bed, put away your toys, and empty the trash can (among other things). To your child, "clean your room" may mean shove all toys into the closet and out of sight. Specifically say to your child - "I want you to clean your room,a and that means make your bed, take out the trash, etc."
- Make a list. Making a list of what needs to be done in each room will keep everyone on the same page and will keep you from repeating the same list every time the chore comes up. Post the list where your kids can see it and even check off each task they complete.
- Keep a chart. Each time your child successfully completes his or her chore(s), place a sticker on the chart. Reward your children as they complete a certain amount of chores, or as they become more consistent in taking care of their chores. You may also want to reward a willing spirit - don't give a sticker for chores that were completed with excessive whining or protests.
- Decide as a family. Make sure you and mom are on the same page about how many chores each child should have, and what it means for a chore to be complete (which goes back to the ideas of defining the terms and having a list). If you have older kids - elementary age and above - sit down as a family and involve your kids in how chores are defined and rewarded. This will teach them responsiblity and help them take ownership in the process.
- Make sure you do your chores. If your kids see you doing the dishes, folding the laundry, or putting away the groceries, they'll be more likely to pitch in and do their part. As always, your kids will copy what you do.
No, chores will never be painless, but a little planning and forethought can make them a little easier for the whole family!