Updated: May 14
As parents, we all know how frustrating it can be to look at a sink full of dishes or a laundry hamper that needs washing. Especially when those tasks are on your child’s chore list.
To add to the frustration, when you ask your child about the chore, they respond with things like, “I’ll do it later.”
Getting kids to do their chores well and in a timely matter can feel like an insurmountable task at times. How can we motivate our children to help around the house?
Here are a few things to try.
Set Clear and Visible Expectations
When you want your children to do chores, it is important that they can visually see what it is that they need to do.
Prominently displaying your children’s chores will ensure that they know exactly which tasks to complete.
Consider posting a chore chart or to do list in a high-traffic area of your home.
Placing a visual reminder in a place where your children will see it often will give them no excuse to not do their part.
Adding a deadline to each job on your planner is a great way to ensure that your kids do their chores in a timely manner.
You can offer rewards for getting work done early or penalize them for anything that is done past its due date.
This is a great way to teach your children about the importance of deadlines. It will also add another way that they can practice being responsible.
Adding checkboxes to your chore list is a great way for kids to keep track of the things they still have to complete.
In addition, the checkbox will provide a sense of accomplishment when they are able to check it off.
A checkbox will tell you when the job is complete, so you do not have to spend your time asking your children if they have done their chores yet.
Turn It Into A Game
Turning chores into a game is a great way to increase your children’s interest.
When you turn chores into play or competition, your children will be motivated to do their part.
Consider giving points for each job that is completed.
If you have large and complicated tasks, they can be worth extra points.
As your children do their chores, they can rack up points and compete with each other.
Consider offering prizes for each month’s point leader.
If your kids are often competitive with each other, this is a great way to motivate them to do their chores.
It may even be possible to convince your children to do bigger in more complicated tasks if they're worth a high amount of points.
If this system is successful in the beginning, you can continue to add jobs to the list and in no time your kids will be doing their part around the house.
Create Your Own Economy
Another way that you can get your kids to do their chores is to create an economy in your home.
This is very similar to a game, except it teaches your children money management and financial responsibility alongside their daily chores.
For each job your child completes, they will earn money towards their paycheck. This can be actual small amounts of money or monopoly money. At the end of each week, pay your children their salary.
You must also set up a system where your children can buy things in your small ecosystem of an economy.
Consider setting up a store in the kitchen or the pantry where your children can use their chore money to purchase specific high interest items.
Having their favorite snacks and certain privileges for sale will entice kids to do their chores because they want to purchase these items.
You may also consider adding extra chores as an option. Your kids will want to get paid so badly that they will pick up the extra work.
However, this system only works if the things in your store are desirable to your children. So, don't expect them to tidy up if all they can buy are raisins.
Make Them Earn It
In this technique, chores are like the key that unlocks the door to children's favorite things.
If your child really enjoys playing video games or watching their favorite show on tv, they will have to complete their chores before they have access to these objects.
In order to access their favorite pieces of entertainment, they must trade their time and energy by doing a chore.
Consider assigning each chore a time limit so that your children have to complete multiple tasks in order to use their technology for a significant amount of time.
In this method, it is important that you do not frame the chores as punishment.
Chores are not the reason that your children cannot access the technology. Doing their chores is the thing that allows them to access the technology.
The chores are not the door to their favorite things, they are the key.
When you frame it in this way children will feel much more willing to complete the task with a positive attitude.
They will understand that they are earning the access and not just having it taken away until the job is complete.
Make Chores A Family Activity
It may seem counter intuitive to make your children's chores part of your family activities, but when you come together to complete tasks kids will be more willing to put in the work.
Often when kids are assigned chores, they feel singled out to do the work that they don't want to do.
When you turn certain chores into family activities and show your children that everyone is contributing to the household, they may be more willing to do smaller tasks independently.
When your child understands that they have to do their part because everyone else is, they are far more likely to do their chores well and on time.
When your child feels like a part of the whole they will feel more fulfilled in completing work that they know will have a valuable impact and the entire family.
Here is an infographic that you can use as reference for age appropriate chores for your kids. And please help share this post or the infographic if you found it helpful. Thank you so much!