Creative Tips to Motivate Your Children to Do Chores
By Samantha Green, busykid.com
When you were a kid, how did you react every time your parents asked you to throw the garbage or wash the dishes? Were you one of those who were extra obedient, or did you run up to your room and lock the door to avoid doing chores? Now that you’re a parent, you’re probably experiencing the same problems; only this time, you are the parent of an overly dramatic child who doesn’t want to do chores.
So, what should you do? How do you think your parents made you do housework? Why is it so difficult to ask your children to do household chores? Well, it’s usually a case-to-case basis, but there are several creative things that you can do to motivate your kids.
Before anything else, though, you should first try to understand why some children, including your kids, do not like helping out or doing chores.
– They do not know what to expect.
“Anna, it’s time to throw the garbage. Can you do that for me, please?” What’s wrong with this request? Nothing, right? But if you want children to understand why they have to do chores, this wouldn’t be enough for them.
You have to find time to sit down and talk to your children. In the simplest way possible, explain how chores can help a person become more responsible, confident, and sensitive. It’s also good to talk about how important it is to do the chores right – not perfect, but right.
The best way to help your children understand the value of doing housework is to tell them stories about your own experiences doing chores as a kid.
– Sibling pressure and rivalry can get in the way.
If your older children are already doing their share of the housework, it’s essential to talk to each one and make them understand that there is no competition. There may be significant differences in the chores assigned to the older kids and those for the younger ones, so you have to discuss this as well. Make your older kids understand that it’s a process they also went through when they were younger.
– Doing chores can be boring because they are repetitive activities.
Children have short attention spans, so things can get boring quite easily if they do something repetitively, like daily chores. This is why you need to think of creative ways to make housework fun and exciting. One good example is to use an app to reward your children for completing weekly tasks. Aside from motivating them to do their chores, it can also be a fun way of teaching them how to save. Their rewards can go straight to a kids debit card.
This creative suggestion can also teach your kids the value of discipline, determination, and hard work.
How to Make Your Child Do Chores
Now that you’ve somehow prepared your children, here are creative ways to help motivate your kids to do chores.
Prepare colorful chore cards.
Make your chore cards unique. Instead of putting them on plain paper or printing them from the computer, you can use colored cards. Assign a color to each child and add some illustrations or cartoon drawings. The chores should be written on one side and their respective rewards on the other side.
Rewards do not have to be all monetary; you can also give them additional screen or playtime on weekends. You can also substitute real money with play money from Monopoly or other similar games.
Use games when assigning tasks.
Instead of just listing down the tasks and writing your children’s names beside each chore, you can play games. You can draw lots: just cut strips of colored papers, assign a task for each color, and ask your children to pick a color. The task assigned to that particular color will then be their chore for that week.
Another good idea is to write tasks on strips of paper (you can use colored ones if you wish), roll each one, and place them inside a jar or any similar container. Everyone in the family should take turns in picking a paper from the jar. All tasks must be picked up, so one should have more than one chore at the end of the game.
Games help make tasks fun, and your children won’t find them boring or repetitive.
Play games from time to time when doing chores
You can assign one day in a week as a chore game day. Ideally, it should be on a weekend so everyone in the family can participate. Think of games like a scavenger hunt, where you prepare a list of items that family members should pick up and bring back to their proper places (ex. books on the floor go back to the bookshelf). You can also have the “fastest” game: the fastest to finish fixing their bed, the fastest to finish washing the dishes, or the fastest to clean their room.
Another good game is a how-to video contest, such as “how to clean your room the right way,” “how to prepare the dining table for dinner,” or “how to use the washing machine.” Whoever wins will be given a homemade medal or extra task points.
Rewards can be sent straight to their debit cards or given on weekends, especially if these are additional computer game time or the honor of choosing what to watch on Netflix.
Don’t forget to congratulate everyone for their determination and hard work. Your compliments will be more appreciated than monetary rewards.
Choose the best time for your children’s chores
Don’t make your children do chores right after they get home from school or before they go to bed. Talk to your kids and ask them for suggestions on what schedule works best for them, especially on school days. It is vital to give your children time to relax and cool down after a busy day in school.
Consulting them is also a good way to let your children know that they are important and that their opinions matter. This is one way of telling them that you trust them.
Everyone in the family should pitch in
Parents are their children’s role models, so whatever you do, they often like to do as well. They like to wear what you wear and eat what you eat. Use this to your advantage and ensure that you, your spouse, and everyone in the family pitch in and do their chores regularly. Children like being part of a group, especially one where their parents are also a part of.
Working together as a family in doing chores also helps prevent conflicts like sibling rivalry and resistance. It also imparts a strong message: that family will always help each other.
Chore Prince or Princess
At the end of the week, compute the task points of each family member and organize an awarding ceremony. The one who gets the most points for the week shall be crowned “Chore Prince” or “Chore Princess.” This is a fun and effective way of motivating your children to look forward to doing their household chores.
Children like to have fun in whatever they do, so this should be foremost on your mind when getting them to do chores. You have to find ways to make daily tasks more exciting for them. The tips mentioned above are simple but effective suggestions that you should consider.
About the Author:
Samantha Green is the Content Marketing Strategist for the MCA award-winning app, BusyKid, the first and only chore and allowance platform where kids can earn, save, share, spend, and invest their allowance. A mom of two, she enjoys spending time with her kids and reading books to them.
*Bio photo courtesy of Samantha Green