With everyone spending more time at home than usual, we think it’s safe to say there is a lot more cooking, cleaning and laundry going on. Parents, wouldn’t it be great if the hard work around the house was shared?
Getting your kids to help out around the house doesn’t have to be a constant power struggle. Here are five tips that will help you get your kids doing their chores in no time without the daily arguments. Guaranteed!
Be persistent but realistic
Introducing new duties to kids might spark some initial resistance. Especially if your little rascals were used to having you do everything for them – all the time. Kids like to test and push boundaries, but by staying persistent you are reinforcing your expectations and soon you will see a change in their behaviour.
Remember, three key tricks for this. One, do not back down. Two, be consistent with your expectations, and three, make sure your expectations are realistic.
Turn chores into a game
Turn matching socks into a game of snaps, or picking up toys into a countdown challenge, whichever technique you choose – keeping it creative is a great way to encourage your children to stay on task and have fun while doing it.
A few other ideas we’ve found really useful are, turning tidy up time into a sing along, picking up toys can be a superhero mission, or make the task a competition – who doesn’t like winning after all. Not only will the task get done in half the time with less hassle, but you and your kids will get to spend some quality time together too.
Mum doesn’t always know best
So, all the T-shirts won’t be folded quite in the same way and there might be a speck of dust left here and there. Resist the urge to go “Here, let me do it.” and watch your kids become responsible and learn basic life-skills.
Going over the job again that your child has just spent time doing will only have a negative impact, and it will not make them eager to help out the next time you ask.
People love to be praised for their hard work and kids are no exception. A tip for this is having a chart of chores shared out between the household and different levels of chores are rewarded with different things. You could introduce gold star stickers to praise and reward positive behaviour, or when a job has been completed; for example, setting the dinner table can earn one star, whereas tidying your bedroom earns three stars.
The key is to make sure your children know what a wonderful job they are doing and how happy you are because they’re helping out.
No matter the age of your children, positive incentives for rewarding good behaviour work every time. This could be anything from an extra book before bedtime or staying up an extra hour later one evening – kids love to feel valued and know that their hard work has been recognised.
One trick is to introduce weekly family nights where the child who has won the most points that week has the reward of choosing what activity you do. Some might call it a bribe; we call it getting stuff done.