Every child should have age-appropriate chores. Chores are a great way for children to learn responsibility, and can commonly be a source of earned pride and self-esteem. As a parent, it is your duty to find ways to incorporate responsibility into your child’s life and to teach and encourage them to see them through. There are many ways that you can help your child develop a meaningful routine that will can be mutually beneficial for your child and the entire family.
First of all, assess your child’s skill and experience level. Only assign age-appropriate tasks for your child to complete, otherwise you will be automatically setting them up for failure.
Do not overwhelm your child with too many chores. This can be very daunting, especially if they are getting this kind of responsibility for the first time.
Personally demonstrate correct procedure for every new task or chore you assign for your child. Show them exactly what is to be done and how.
You can also help your child begin new tasks, for instance you can hold the door open for him/her while he/she carries out the filled dog bowl.
Establish a routine for your child to follow for completing his/her chores. By doing the same chores at the same time everyday, your child will be less likely to overlook them.
Sit down and make a list of chores for your child. Encourage your child to think of things around the house that he/she thinks they can do. This will give your child a sense of control over this specific area of decision making. They are also more likely to stick with a chore that they volunteered for, or particularly enjoys doing.
Post a list of your child’s chores and responsibilities where he/she can see it everyday.
Reward your child for completing his/her chores. Hugs, kisses, verbal praise and having a friend over are all great places to start. Children enjoy hearing that they are doing a good job just as much as adults do, so make a point to say something good about your child’s progress each day.
If your child forgets to do a chore, try to gently remind them of the chore. Be patient and understand that children will sometimes forget even a regularly scheduled task from time to time.
Sit down with your child and make a contract detailing the responsibilities that your child will be held accountable for. Have your child draw pictures, color, or decorate the contract, then display it in their room.
Let your child know that their responsibilities (no matter how small) are essential to the smooth workings of your family. Children need to feel that their contributions are substantial, and when they do, they will take pride in their tasks.
Devise a method for disciplining your child when they do not complete their chores in a satisfactory manner or forget their chores altogether.
Be sure that you have your child complete their chore, even if it is not at the regularly scheduled time.
Along with a directive, provide an incentive statement, such as telling your child he/she may watch thirty extra minutes of television if they complete this chore.
Limit the number of chores for which your child is responsible and gradually increase the number of chores as your child demonstrates the ability to complete current chores.
Have your child complete the same chores each day, week, etc.
Show your child how to perform a new chore several times, if it is multiple steps, before expecting them to complete it on their own.
Make sure your child has all the necessary materials needed in order to complete each chore.
Have your child earn money, privileges, etc., for performing chores.
Have everyone in the family perform chores at the same time in order to help your child to remember to complete his/her chores.
Reducing distracting activities which may interfere with your child’s ability to complete chores is a great way to get them going, and keep them going.
Maintain a chart so that your child may monitor his/her own progress. Together you and your child can mark off completed tasks, or your child could earn stars or stickers to place on the chart each day.
If timing becomes an issue, use a timer to provide a limited amount of time to complete each chore.
Make certain to give directions in a very simple manner and be specific as to what you want your child to do.
Sit down with your child and discuss his/her responsibilities. Have him/her tell you about their chores, what they are, how to do them, and why they are important. This way, you will have a good idea whether or not your child grasps the general concept.
Encourage your child to come to you if they have any questions about chores that they have been assigned.
Vary your child’s chores from time to time in order that he/she does not get tired of doing the same chores day-in and day-out.
If your child volunteers to help other family members with their chores, let him/her. It shows that he/she is ready to take on more responsibility and shows selflessness.
Always reward good behavior and a job well done. Positive encouragement is key.
If you both stick with it, your child will be on his/her way to taking on more and more responsibility on his/her own. Remember to always be patient, loving and understanding. All children learn responsibility in different ways, in different times and at different ages.