Most kids would rather play video games, spend time on the internet or play with other kids rather than do house chores. Understandably, house chores are tedious, and many adults still find it hard to start and finish their tasks on time so go easy on the kids. Nevertheless, to build responsible, independent, and hardworking young adults, you have to teach your children the importance of work. Because they may not understand the consequences of not doing their chores, use a system that appeals to and motivates them to do the expected.
Have a Reward System
Just the same way the reward you get after working for your boss each month (a paycheck) motivates you to wake up and go to work, kids will be more motivated to do their chores when there is a reward at the end. It can be as simple as adding them 15 minutes to their play or tv time when they finish duties on time. If they’ve had a remarkable track record, buy them something they will remember such as gifts for kitesurfers for kids who are kitesurfing enthusiasts. A cash reward is also a great incentive, but it shouldn’t be a payment for doing chores that the child is expected to do, such as making his bed or cleaning.
Consider Age Appropriate Chores
Introduce your child to chores from a young age; when he can understand and manage to do the expected. A two-year-old can be taught to get the toys back into their boxes after use, while a school-going child should learn how to make their bed, not litter, put his dirty clothes in the laundry basket, and help wipe the dust off tables. Older kids, including teenagers, can help prepare meals, do the laundry and clean the house. As you involve your teenagers in doing the more involving house chores, understand that you are preparing them for an independent life in college and after. They will not have a problem coping with life away from you.
Set Specific Times for Doing the Chores
During school days, you may opt to have the children do their chores in the evening after school. They will have more time to do it, and you will avoid the morning rush. However, they should make their beds and leave everything tidy before leaving the house. On holidays, an early morning routine may be better. Before they relax to watch their favorite shows or play, they should make sure all their chores are complete. Relaxing after work is also a way to reward the kids. They will be looking forward to completing the tasks so that they can do the things they love.
Each child should understand what’s expected of them. Write down a list of the chores for each child and pin it down where they can see. For younger children, you may have to keep reminding them what they need to do. For instance, when their toys are strewn all over the place, don’t pick them up for them but remind them to do it.
It’s also essential to have a time limit for each chore. For instance, you can have the dishes cleaned in 20 minutes, the house vacuumed in 15 minutes, and the meals prepared in 30 minutes. Do some of the duties, such as preparing meals together. Also, make sure everyone, including parents, are participating in doing chores at the appointed time. This not only brings you together for a set goal but shows commitment and teamwork.
Don’t Punish Them with Doing Chores
Chores are responsibilities; therefore, everyone should learn to do their duties regardless of how they feel. When you use house chores to punish the kids, they will hate doing chores and regard it as a punishment even in adulthood. When the child has done something wrong, don’t punish him by doing the laundry or cleaning the carpet. Chores are obligations you can’t run away from, and the sooner they understand this, the more they will accept doing chores in adulthood. However, when one child wrongs another, you can punish him by asking him to do the other child’s tasks. It’s a way of accepting they wronged the other child and are willing to make amends.
As you will learn, it easier to make your children do their chores when you use these tips. Forcing them to do their duties will never really work. They may do their tasks when you are around but won’t learn to be responsible.