Blogger | Teacher
Trying to encourage your kids to do their chores can sometimes feel like pulling teeth, turning the experience into a time of tantrums, crying, and chaos. But it doesn’t have to be! Each child is different, and the best way to make chore time less chaotic will differ from kid to kid, but here are our top six tips for urging your kids to do their chores without complaining!
Create Chore Chart Sticker Sheets
For young children, stickers can work wonders for improving attitudes in almost any situation. While working in a preschool, I saw a huge increase in productivity with my little ones when I offered up stickers for good behavior. Kids love stickers, and that’s a fact.
For those moms and dads looking to encourage their children to do their chores, creating a chore chart is a great place to start. Make a list of any chores that your child will be in charge of, whether it’s cleaning their room, washing the dishes, or picking up their clothes from the bathroom. These chores will go down the left side of the chart as individual rows. At the top, label each day of the week as its own column. Make sure you put their name in big letters at the top!
For each chore that they complete each day, they get to put a special sticker on their sticker sheet. Not only does this help promote organization and independence, but you can also use it as a learning opportunity for recognizing the days of the week and understanding charts! Then, at the end of the week, they can keep their stickers and start over with a clean sticker sheet.
You can either laminate your original sticker sheet and take off the stickers each week or just create new sticker sheets, it’s up to you! For parents with multiple little ones, making individual sticker sheets creates the added bonus of promoting individualism and furthering independence!
Offer A Reward System
For older kids who may not be as interested in stickers as a reward, another way to push your children to do their chores is to offer a reward system. Many people automatically consider allowances to be the prime reward for doing chores – and while this is a completely valid option, rewards don’t necessarily need to be monetary!
For my little ones at the daycare, we had a “treasure chest” where the students would bring up their stickers, we’d count them together, and then they could pick a piece of candy, bubbles, or small toy from our treasure chest. Offering a small toy or piece of candy for a week of hard work can be a great way to encourage kids to do their jobs.
Another thing to consider is to offer special opportunities as rewards. Maybe after a week of work, your children get to pick out a type of ice cream or dessert from the grocery store. Maybe each chore equals 30 minutes of tv or game time that they can cash in during the weekend, thereby able to pick the shows the family watches or what game gets played. These little rewards can go a big way in promoting responsibility and hard work in your children!
Turn Off All Electronics
One of the biggest struggles for getting kids to do their chores is the distractions offered by the television, cell phones, and tablets. Watching tv and playing games is fun! Of course they don’t want to stop what they’re doing to wash the dishes or put away their clothes! However, these are important skills that they need to learn early in order to eventually grow up to be responsible, functional adults.
Turning off all and putting away all electronic devices during chore time can be a valuable incentive to get especially stubborn kids to do their chores. Obviously, this shouldn’t be the first choice as it can create a negative connotation surrounding chores. However, sometimes showing what can happen when we don’t do our chores can be an important lesson for some children.
So, when your kids really just aren’t doing their chores, make is a clear rule that all electronic devices are to be turned off and won’t be turned back on until their chores are done. Eventually, they’ll come to understand that taking care of yourself and your home is necessary for living a happy life.
Make Chores a Family Affair
One thing that can work especially well for encouraging kids to do their chores is making chore time a family experience! If children are always tasked with doing things themselves, they may begin to resent the work. However, if you start including children in basic household chores early, it can promote a sense of familial unity and an understanding of group work.
For example, let your kids help you fold the laundry! Teach them how to wash the dishes and let them help with cooking where they can. These little moments of working together will help build a positive atmosphere around doing chores.
As they begin to get older, give them their own chores that they can do while you do yours – for example, have them wash the dishes while you cook dinner. This will help create an understanding of “teamwork” and help them learn how working together means everyone fulfilling certain duties to help the group as a whole. If one person falls short, the whole group falls short!
By making chores a family affair, not only can you create a positive atmosphere for completing chores, but you can also teach important life lessons that your child can carry with them as they grow and interact with the outside world.
Don’t Turn Chores into a Punishment
A big tip for urging your children to do their chores is to not turn chores into a punishment. Kids are going to make mistakes or get in trouble from time to time, and they need to be reprimanded when necessary, as the parents see fit. However, one thing to know is that when you use chores as a form of punishment, it promotes a negative feeling for your children when it comes to doing their chores and can make them come to dislike doing them.
The exception to this rule is when it comes to hurting others. If one of your children hurts their sibling, you can use chores as a great way to teach the proper way to apologize – i.e. with actions and not just words. In these situations, having the child who is at fault take over one of their hurt sibling’s chores as a way of saying sorry can be a great way of showing how it’s important to make up for our mistakes.
Make Chore-time a Playtime
If you want to encourage your kids to do their chores, then it’s important to make chore time fun! Put on some music they can jam to, create a fun clean-up song, turning cleaning up the kitchen into a dance party! Whatever you need to do to make completing chores fun, start doing it early on and keep it consistent.
Make folding the laundry a pretend-play experience and put away the clothes as robots. Clean the house while pretending to be swashbuckling pirates searching for treasure. Let your kids choose the music! While you might have to listen to Baby Shark on loop while they wash the dishes, at least you’ll know that you’re promoting a fun positive attitude about doing chores.
Have more tips on how to encourage kids to do their chores? Tell us in the comments!
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.