There comes a time in every parent’s life where they need to teach their children about the importance of chores. It may cause arguments and even end in tears, but it’s a necessary conversation you must have to help your child learn responsibilities and important skills that they can carry with them throughout life. Age-appropriate chores can help to instill good habits, build self-reliance and confidence, as well as foster a strong work-ethic for your child’s future. So how can you encourage your child to do their chores?
Most of the time, distractions are the number one reason why kids put off doing their chores. The solution here is to simply take away whatever is distracting them, and explain why you have done this. Your child can then associate doing any mundane chores with earning back their fun playtime and can eventually get into the mental routine of completing their tasks first.
Tap into your Child’s Natural Enthusiasm
Use your child’s natural enthusiasm to motivate them to pitch in. For example, if they are a very organized and tidy child, they may actually enjoy handwashing and drying their clothes outside while you wait to replace or get new parts to fix your washer. Similarly, animal-loving children will enjoy bathing, feeding, and walking their pet, food lovers will love to help to cook, and a child with green thumbs will be more inclined to help out in the yard.
Set a Time Limit
Setting a time limit can make chores seem less daunting to a child. They’ll know that the quicker the chore is completed, the quicker they can get back to what entertains them. You can use this time limit as a strategic system rather than nagging your child. You could even try offering an incentive if they manage to complete the task on time, such as staying up half an hour later. If they don’t, try not to lose patience and calmly remind them that the more time they take, the less time they’ll have to play.
Learn to accept imperfection. Avoid assigning a chore to your child and then micromanaging every step of the task and pointing out what they are doing wrong. However, it is important to work side by side with your child to explain why chores must be done and let them know that it’s a family effort.
Recognize their Efforts
Chores are by no means always fun, but they are an important building block in helping ensure that as your children grow up, they are developing skills that they’ll use when they are living on their own. To encourage your child to continue doing chores, you need to recognize their hard work and thank them for their efforts. This could be in the form of going out for dinner, allocating an extra hour of screen time, or even just a hug! Never use chores as a form of punishment, as this will only associate these tasks as a consequence of bad behavior rather than a responsibility.