Parenting Tip: Choose Chores that Fit your Child’s Interests

This tip revolves around that dreaded “C” word – chores.

Do your children have assigned chores to do around the home? Are they doing them?

Mkids helping out and doing chores in kitchenany parents find that chores can be a real source of angst, with parents spending most of their time reminding, nagging and even begging their kids to do them, while their kids are doing everything possible to avoid them.

To make the whole chore process work more smoothly, choose chores that fit your child’s temperament and personality. I have three very different children and, not surprisingly, they are also very different when it comes to preferences for chores.

So how can you discover which chores will be best for your children?

You may want to start by asking them for input to find out what chores they don’t mind doing and which ones they would really prefer to not have on their list. The bonus here is that when kids are given some choices in the matter, they are much more likely to stick with any decisions made.

Think about what makes each of your children unique. Here are some things to consider:

  • Are your children generally active or do they prefer quieter activities? I have a daughter that never seems to sit still. I discovered that chores that allow her to
    move around, like carrying dirty clothes to the laundry room and vacuuming, are more likely to get done versus those that don’t require as much movement. My youngest son, on the other hand, prefers activities that are more sedentary. For him, clipping coupons out of the Sunday newspapers proves to be a good fit.


  • Next, do your children prefer to do things alone or with others? My oldest son prefers to work alone without help, so his list of chores includes things like mowing the lawn and taking out the trash. My youngest son, however, likes to be with others, plus he often requires help with chores, so he gets called to work with me when it is time to sort and fold the laundry.


  • Next, think about what interests your children have and how that can be combined with doing chores. My daughter loves animals so she agreed to take on the task of feeding and walking the family dog. My oldest son loves music so he tunes in while washing the dishes. My youngest loves cooking and is an eager helper with preparing meals.

Other things you can consider are whether your children like to do things at a set day/time or do they like things to be more random? Would they prefer the same chore over and over, or do they like variety?

When you take the time to identify chores that match each of your children’s unique personalities, then you are helping to set the stage for success and you are more likely to get cooperation from your children.

Now keep in mind that this probably will not eliminate all of your kid’s complaints about doing chores. Kids will still be kids, but in the end, you may find that when it comes to actually doing the chores, your children may be a little less resistant to doing those that fit their personalities.

By Deanna Bosley, Certified Parenting Educator

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