Chores can be such a hassle to integrate into your family life, but they also help instill responsibility and pride in your children. It helps children feel capable and that they are an important member of the family who contributes something valuable. If you put some things in place on the front end, the battle over chores can become a rare occasion. Some tips to try:
· Let kids be a part of deciding what chores they will do. Make a list of all of the options and have them choose an age-appropriate number to be responsible for.
· Have pictures or lists of what signifies that the chore is done completely. For example, if the chore is putting their clean clothes away, specify that clothes need to be in the correct drawers and drawers need to be closed. Pictures of completed tasks can also be really helpful.
· Have a deadline, and don’t nag. If chores need to be completed by 5PM on Tuesdays and Fridays, then set an alarm on your phone to remind you to check for completion. If chores aren’t complete by the deadline, a pre-agreed upon consequence will be in place. Consistency is key!
· Tie chores to earning money if that aligns with your parenting beliefs. If chores are not completed by the deadline, money is not earned.
· For older kids, if chores are not completed by the deadline, they lose phone privileges until they are completed.
· If kids are still struggling with meeting deadlines, problem solve with them to figure out a way to remind them—set a reminder on Alexa, have them set an alarm on their phone.
· When a chore becomes overwhelming or too big for your child, help them break it down. If the playroom is a disaster, and you want them to clean it up, suggest they start with just the stuffed animals, then move to the blocks, then the books, etc. It’s easy for kids to become overwhelmed when a job is too big.
· Younger kids will need more support than older ones. It’s never too early to start kids with chores, but younger kids may be helping you with things rather than completing tasks independently.
· Do NOT go back and re-do work if you’re not happy with it. If the task has been completed in the way you have set forth up front, even if it’s not perfect, let your child’s work be enough. If you’re constantly correcting their chores, they will begin to feel defeated and not want to do it in the first place.
Age-appropriate chore suggestions:
Ages 2-3 Ages 4-5 Ages 6-8
Pick up toys or shoes Feed pets Make the bed Wipe up spills Fold towels Put clean clothes away Put clothes in hamper Set the table Take out trash
Put shoes away Help cook dinner Wipe counters Pull weeds Clean room independently Use hand-held vacuum Pack lunch
Clear the table
Ages 9-12 Ages 13-18
Fold clothes Prepare meals Clean bathroom Mow lawn Load and unload dishwasher Watch younger siblings Rake leaves Run errands (if driving) Vacuum or mop Walk the dog Need help setting up chores with your family? Schedule a call to see if I can help you out!