Amy McCready, Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc., recently sent out a list of great ways to get kinds involved with chores at home. Here are Amy’s thoughts on getting kids to help out around the house.
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Does getting your kids to help out around the house feel like –well, a chore? Here are a few quick tips to motivate your kids to pitch in:
1. Call it a contribution.
Do you know the difference between a chore and a contribution? It’s the difference it makes to someone else. Calling it a “chore” makes it sound like a burden, while calling it a “family contribution” empowers kids. It reminds everyone that the duties of running a house smoothly belong to everyone, since everyone enjoys the privileges.
2. Show your appreciation.
Let your kids know the impact of their actions and what it means to you. No one likes unloading the dishwasher or dusting the living room, but when your kids know their efforts make a difference, they recognize they’re making a meaningful contribution and perceive the tasks in a different light. That means fewer power struggles and better cooperation from your kids.
3. Let them see the results.
Explain how your kids’ contributions help the family. “You really helped all of us tonight when you cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. That gave us extra time for our bike ride.” Through family contributions, each child will gain a sense of personal significance, as well as a feeling of belonging to a social group—namely, your family.
4. Skip the rewards.
Don’t hinge your kids’ allowance on the completion of household tasks or use other rewards to motivate them – that sets the expectation that they should be paid for things that should be family responsibilities. Be clear that these tasks are something we do because everyone contributes to the family.
5. Include everyone.
Even toddlers can do simple tasks, like passing out napkins at dinner time or making sure the playroom is picked up. It’s important to show each member of the family that their contributions matter.
When kids see that everyone in the family needs to pitch in, they recognize the importance of the tasks they’re asked to do. That builds confidence and increases cooperation, and helps create a smoothly running household!
Thanks Amy! We’re excited to try these at home.
We’re also fans of Frecklebox Chore Charts to keep track of weekly duties at home!