Episode 058: Doing Chores. 3 Ways to Get Your Kids to Help

 

Raise your hand if you feel like you are the only one trying to keep your house clean! That feeling can be so frustrating! It is time to get our kids to help around the house. In today’s episode, child and family studies major Laura Tesch is going to teach us not only why chores are critical to our children’s development but also positive ways to get kids to help. The tips Laura teaches are what she has used with her own six children over the last two decades. You won’t want to miss this one. 

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The Upside to Expecting Kids to Help Around the House

  1. They learn how to work hard
  2. They learn about delayed gratification
  3. It teaches them how to contribute to the world around them
  4. When it’s time to move out, they will be very capable of caring for their own home
  5. It helps them develop Independence
  6. They feel a sense of accomplishment
  7. It helps develop fine and gross motor skills
  8. It teaches them that they have responsibility for the cleanliness of the home
  9. It spreads the load of taking care of the house among all family members
  10. Helps with abstract thinking and brain development
  11. Helps them be a better guest at other people’s homes because they will be more likely to clean up behind themselves
  12. And much more

The Downside to Expecting Kids to Help Around the House

It takes SO much time to teach them how to do it properly!  It really feels like it would be SO much easier to just do it on your own.  I have to CONSTANTLY remind myself of the many benefits of getting kids to help.  They motivate me to push through the tough times.

The Pointers

  1. MODEL, TEACH, AND BE CLEAR WITH EXPECTATIONS

    Show them how you would like a chore to be done, then show them and show them and show them some more. Next, have them do it with you by their side, then coach them and coach them and coach them.  Be really clear about how you want it done and help them until they are able to do it.  This does take so much time, but in the end, they’ll be able to do it on their own really well.  It is a lengthy training process.  However, you’re investing time now so they will confident and be capable when they’re older.Parenting Tip: You’re consistency will pay off with time.  Laura no longer has to remind her kids to do their chores and they are done the way she trained her kids to do them.
  2. BREAK TASKS DOWN INTO BITE-SIZED PIECES My garage is kind of crazy.  Every time I want to fix that, I get completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of the job.  Our kids can feel the same way with the chores they are given.  It can help to break their bigger jobs up into several little tasks.Take cleaning a room for example.  If you put a four year in old their room and tell them to clean it, chances are, it’s not going to work.  Now if you made a list of smaller tasks that need to be done to clean a room, that might feel more manageable.  That list could look something like this:
    'Parenting Tip: Be aware of your child's level of ability and match their chore to that level of ability. This will help both you and your child avoid some frustration.' -parentwithapro.com Click To Tweet
  3. TRY TO BE POSITIVE & FUNDoing chores is a chore!  If we are angry and impatient, it will make chore time worse.  Use some creativity to make chore time a little more fun.Here’s some ideas:
    1. Wear silly aprons or hats that are just for cleaning
    2. Listen to upbeat music
    3. Listen to stories
    4. Play make believe “Have a Cinderella party”
    5. Play “21 thing pick up” where everyone picks up 21 things
    6. Play “Room to Room” where everyone in the family works together moving through the house room by room

 BONUS:  KEEP THEIR CHORES TO ABOUT 20 MINUTES A DAY ON THE WEEK DAYS

Of course, it’s your own decision, but we wanted to give you an idea of how much time to expect your kids to help.  Kids are really busy but can handle contributing for twenty minutes a day.

Parenting Tip: It is OK to have a consequence for not completing chores.  Work with your family to decide what that consequence should be.  Be sure that the consequence is neither too big, nor too small.  It needs to be something that will motivate the child.  Once you’ve decided, be ABSOLUTELY consistent with the plan you made.

Happy Parenting!

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