Chores are a great way to start giving your child responsibility. There are many benefits to giving your children chores, even from a young age. Research suggests that children who do chores have higher self-esteem, greater responsibility, and increased work ethic. However, you don’t have to be around kids long to realize that they don’t usually like more work, so introducing your child to a chore chart might be a challenge.
Here are a few simple tips on how to best introduce a chore chart, so it won’t be a fight every time you tell them that they have to complete their chores.
When you are first introducing the topic of a chore chart, it is best to call a family meeting and discuss how everyone is contributing to the family. By creating a culture that reminds your family you are all in this together, the battle stops being between you and your kids because now you are all on the same side. The best way to accomplish this is list examples of what you do for the family, and then say how they can help you.
During this time, you should also spell out the motive behind the chores, which is to help the whole family maintain a clean and tidy home, not to punish the kids. This will set you up for success later on if your kids start complaining. You can remind them that it is for the good of the entire family, and every member of the family does their fair share.
Allow the Kids a Say in the Process
Kids don’t like being told what to do no matter the topic, so one quick way to circumvent this issue is by allowing them to have some control of the creation of the chore chart. This can be as simple as asking them questions about what the chore chart could look like or where it is located.
You could also ask what the deadlines for completing chores should be or what reward your child wants for completing the chores. For some of the more difficult choices like choosing what chores to do or consequences of failing to complete them, you can give them a choice between two options, so that they think that they have some control in the outcome. By giving them some choice in the matter, you are allowing them to take ownership of the tasks and creating buy-in.
Give Them What They Can Handle
It is easy for kids to become overwhelmed and decide that the task in front of them is impossible, so they don’t try at all. To maintain their motivation, don’t give them too many tasks to do at once. Find age appropriate chores that your child can successfully manage. Their chores should be a quick part of the day, not become a burden.
Give a Training Period
Once you implement your chore chart, create a training period, which will allow time for adjustment for both ends. The training period can be a week or two depending on what you think your kids will need. It is a time for you to help or demonstrate how to fully complete each chore, and allow them to ask you questions and figure out a system that works well for everyone.
At the start you might need to be much more involved, but over the course of the training period, slowly wean them off of your help, so that they can accomplish all of the chores correctly by themself.
Make It Fun
No one enjoys doing boring things, especially not kids, so make chores fun. You don’t have to go all out and make it a game. You can if you want, but something as simple as stickers or a brightly colored chore chart make it seem more enjoyable. Earning stickers can be an excellent motivator for kids of all ages, too.
You can also have your child color the chart, whether it be drawing in images for each chore or just making the chart prettier with different colors. By adding in an element of fun, you are stripping away some of the negative connotations that come with chores.
Chores should be a part of every family, but that doesn’t mean that it should be a battle to make your children finish them. With these tips, you can set your family up for success when it comes to household work.
If you are looking for a daycare center that teaches children the value of cleaning up after themselves and being a part of a team, contact The Learning Experience for more information! You can also find a daycare center near you by visiting Find a TLE Center.