- Be convinced of the importance of chores in developing your children’s character. If you firmly believe in their value, you will communicate this message to your children and you will be less likely to give in to their delay tactics or resistance.
- Consider how you look at your “chores” – you are your children’s most important role model. If you do your chores with a sense of acceptance, patience and humor, your children will more likely do the same.
- Give your children choices. Children are more likely to be responsible when they have a say in what they do or when they do it. Joey might have to take out the garbage, but he can choose whether to do it after school, after dinner, or before bedtime.
- Have a list or a chart of jobs that need to be done and allow your children to pick which they will do each week. This is a way to give them a say in what they will do.
- If you assign chores, take into account your child’s interests, temperament and ability.
- Make chores a regular part of the family routine. Expect that everyone over the age of 3 can be responsible for certain tasks to keep the household functioning.
- Listen with compassion to your children’s complaints about chores up to a certain point, but then help them to complete responsibly their assigned and agreed-to tasks.
- Use humor to lighten the mood and to engage cooperation. A note from the family pet about being hungry might remind a child that the dog is depending on her for dinner.
- Use a “10 minute pick up” exercise – everyone in the family spends a focused 10 minutes cleaning or straightening up or doing chores. You can do this task to music.
- Use the problem exploration process if your child fails to meet his responsibilities. Be clear about how he feels about the problem, how you feel, and what options there are to solve the problem. Choose one solution and follow through with it.
There are no quick fixes and your children cannot mature overnight, but by using these tips, you can work towards making chores flow more smoothly in your home. In the end, chores will help your children to become more responsible and proud of their ability to contribute to the family.
For more information about children and chores, check out the following books. Purchasing from Amazon.com through our website supports the work we do to help parents do the best job they can to raise their children.
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