There is more to doing chores, than what is on the surface. By having your children do chores, you are aiding them with learning responsibility and self worth. The best way to keep a household running smoothly is to ensure everyone in the house knows what is expected of them. By including your child in this shared sense of responsibility, you are instilling the values of family unity and teamwork within your child. The trick is ensuring the chores assigned to your child don’t create a sense of tension, arguments, and ultimately frustration
Give your child an opportunity to participate while the delegation of chores is being discussed. Instead of just telling them what their chore is, let them choose, through a series of choices. Obviously, no one enjoys household chores. However, if your child actually had a say in what chores he or she has to do, there will be a better chance that the chores will be done without argument. Your child will appreciate their input was taken into consideration and that they had a choice.
When a brand new chore is assigned to your child, it’s important that you explain to them upfront what your expectations are, of how the chore should be completed. In fact, it’s best if you supervise your child the first time. This way, they can be guided directly how to accomplish the chore correctly. Also, keep in mind, your child will probably not perform the chore exceptionally the first few times.
Like anything else, there is a learning curve involved. That’s also why it’s important to supervise them initially. You can be there to give them positive encouragement for their hard work and effort. You can give them constructive criticism of what they need to do to improve. The most important thing is to not lose patience and become frustrated with your child. This will only lead to frustration on their part, and that particular chore will have negativity associated with it, in the child’s mind. If a chore has negative connotations associated with it, we just completely destroyed the goal of instilling team work and work ethic.
It is imperative that the child understands that a minimal and half hearted effort will not be tolerated. So long as they try their best, is what matters here. If you help the child understand how important the chore is to the overall operation of the house, you will find they will put in a strong effort. You are allowing them to have a stake in how the household runs.
It’s equally important that consequences for not completing chores are explained to your child. Allow them to understand that by not completing their chore, it affects everyone in the house. They need to see everyone in the house as a team. By not completing their chores, they are letting their team down.
It goes without saying, that this is only effective if the parents are leading by example. Your child needs to see you completing whatever chores you have on a daily or weekly basis. If your child decides to rebel against a particular chore, it’s important that you stand your ground. You can’t allow your child to not respect your authority. Remind them that they chose that chore. Reiterate to them that by not completing their chore, they undermine the team effort within the household. It is important to allow your child to express themselves to you.
Try to keep the conversation about the chores positive and on target. Let them talk about their opinions about the chores with you, without you getting upset or angry. If absolutely necessary, let them pick a different chore. Don’t let this become a regular habit. Remember, even the best teams have some inner disputes, but working through them is what makes the team stronger.