Does the word “chores” make your child retreat into their bedroom not to be heard from again till morning? Most of us at CYJ are parents ourselves, so we understand it can be difficult to receive help around the house from your children. Although there are many ways to motivate your child, here are our top 5 favorites! Keep reading and let us know if you have any of your own!
Speak nicely… about your own chores! Let’s be honest, while most of us enjoy a clean and organized house, not many of us actually enjoy the act of cleaning it. Next time you notice yourself saying, “Ugh, what’s with this never-ending pile of laundry” try changing it too, “look at all of these nice clothes we have to wear.” Or if you decide to put off a chore, rather than saying, “I’m too tired to do the dishes, I’ll do them tomorrow,” say, “I’d like to have family time now, so I’m going to set my alarm 15 minutes early to do the dishes in the morning.” Believe it or not, children are always watching and listening and will pick up on your attitude towards chores. If you have a positive attitude towards getting your chores done, odds are your child will reciprocate that mentality.
The best way to start your child off with chores is to start young and start small. Even a toddler can learn to put their own toys away and they may even think of it as a fun game. If your children are past the toddler age, don’t worry, it’s not too late! You can still start small. Ask your child to help bring the dishes from the table to the kitchen daily after dinner. Once your child has that task down without complaining, ask them to start filling just the cups and bowls on the top rack of the dishwasher, then after that becomes easy, ask them to fill the entire dishwasher. When you break down a task over time, it is not so overwhelming and your child is less likely to fight back when it’s time for other chores.
Make A Chart
This one may seem simple. If you’ve been to Pinterest, then you’ve seen thousands of chore charts for all ages, however, we’re going to suggest something a little different. Make a chore chart for all people in your household; children and adults. It’s important for your children to see that it’s not just them doing chores, but also their parents too. You can add chores like grocery shopping, running errands and cooking dinner on your chart. When your child sees how much you do to keep a household going, it’s much more difficult for them to complain about the one or two chores they have each day.
Once you have your chore chart in place and every child knows what is expected of them, it’s time to go shopping! Now we don’t mean shopping for toys or new clothes. We mean going shopping to let your child pick out the cleaner and cleaning tool they would like to use. Maybe they pick out their favorite scent of dishwasher soap, or a new sponge or broom. Letting your child pick out their cleaning tool will give them a sense of independence, control and ownership in making sure their chore gets done.
Watch The Clock
Last but not least, watch the clock! Most children don’t want to do chores because they think it will take away from their screen time. When you actually watch how much time it takes to do each individual chore, it doesn’t add up to that much. You may even be surprised at how little time each chore takes! This can also be turned into a game. See if your child can try to be more efficient (beat their time) and finish their chore faster (but with the same quality) each time they complete it. The faster they finish their chores, the faster they get to use their phones.
CYJ Fun Fact: At summer camp, we encourage the campers to take part in keeping their bunks and surroundings clean. We like to keep camp fun but are also always working on important life skills with our campers!