Getting children to do chores around the house is one of the most difficult challenges parents have to face. We try to teach the importance of chores to our children, but children have it in their head that it is just parents way of making them clean the house. Children find chores boring and time consuming. Even the simplest tasks such as asking the child to make his/her bed is a fight in itself. When children finally do agree to do chores, they often have conditions that they expect their parents to meet. They try to bribe their parents into toys, new clothes, trips or money before they will agree to help out. Children must be taught that every little chore such as making their bed every morning, feeding the dog or even putting their clothes away is contributing to help keep a family household. They should understand that not every chore should have a condition or payment. It is important for children to have responsibilities in helping out around the house. It teaches them responsibility, respect for their home and the people who visit, and it also teaches them to maintain a healthy environment. It is not good for the parent to send their children out to play while the parents clean the house. The parent should not have to do what the child is capable of doing him/herself. On another note, it is a good idea to set a good example. Do not expect your child to do your chores either.
Set Ground Rules
Tell the child that if their chores are not done and not done properly, that the house will be too big of a mess for them to have friends over. Also, if they do not do their chores, then they do not play until they are done. Work first, then play. Explain to them that if they wish to keep their pet, then they should care for it such as feeding it, bathing it and making sure to play with it and not let the pet go neglected. It is not your job to feed and care for your child’s pet. It is their responsibility. Make them understand that if you did not feed and care for them, then they may get sick or die and the same goes for their pet when they do not properly care for them. If your child has a television is his/her room, make them turn it off when they are not in there or it will be removed from the room. Try making them find their own clothes for awhile, and eventually they will get tired of having to look for them and they will learn to put them away. If they want friends over to spend the night, make them clean their room first. Tell them if their room is messy, that they will not be able to have friends over until it is clean. Most importantly, make sure they know that if they do not respect the rules of the house, then they do not get anything else until they learn and obey the rules.
Children should understand that doing chores is not just for them but for the entire family. Chores is not a way of making money, it is a way of earning respect and responsibility. It does not hurt to give the child a set allowance for the week for chores done properly. A great system to have is a chore chart. Make a chore chart designed for every member of the household, not just the children. This way the children will see that it is the entire families responsibility to make sure the house provides a safe and clean environment. There should be set goals for each child, each day of the week such as making their bed, feeding their pets, taking out the trash, etc… Though all chores do not require payment, you could have an extra chore section that each child can get paid for doing extra things around the house such as doing the laundry, helping dad wash the car, or cutting the grass. Things that are not everyday chores are considered extra chores and should be notices, if not by payment, then maybe by going to a special place or receiving a special treat. With smaller children (ages between 2 and 6), you can give them one penny for every item of clothing that they collect around the house to distribute to the laundry pile. They will enjoy trying to earn as many pennies as possible and they do not even realize they are helping with chores. Another thing you can do with small children is a star chart. Give them a star for every little thing they do to help out with chores so that they will feel important. After the child collects so many stars, take them out for a treat or buy them a toy. (Note: It is better to get paper pennies that you can put on the chart or maybe a penny bank that they cannot open and put into their little mouths.
Teenagers are believe it or not, harder to get to help than young children. Although teenagers demand more like cell phones, radios, and Cd’s, they certainly do not want to work for them. They must be taught that in your house, they must work for what they have just as you must work for what you have. If they refuse to clean their room, take away their cell phones until they clean it. If they fight with you about helping with the laundry, wash only your clothes and make them realize that if they do not do their laundry, then they have nothing clean to wear. When your teenager comes in way after curfew, make him/her spend their weekend doing whatever chores need done and if there are none to be done, then have them do extra things around the house. For example, a teenage boy can climb on the roof with their dad and clean off the roof. The teenage girls can stay and help mom redecorate, rearrange and start cooking for the nights dinner.
Chores are not hard, getting the child to do them is difficult. There are many ways to get your child to do chores. Discipline is one of the number one keys of raising healthy and respectable children. It is very unsafe for a home to be cluttered or filthy. It carries bacteria, germs, and in some cases diseases if not properly cared for. A home is where your children must grow and survive and they should always be healthy wherever they live. A clean house is relaxing, and provides a warm environment for a happy family. You must understand yourself that raising children takes a lot of patience and that you too were once where they are today. I do not know much about people, but what I do know is the challenge of getting children to do chores. I have 3 boys and I know first hand what it is like to try to get children to help around the house. I hope that this helps you and I have enjoyed writing on something that I myself experience and deal with on a daily basis.