Getting Your Child To Do Chores

Teaching your child to do chores shouldn't be hard, but it usually is. This easy to follow how to will have children ready to pitch in and help with cleanup.

Getting a child to do the assigned chores they are responsible for can be as difficult as pulling teeth, but it doesn't have to be. By setting guidelines and rules, you will still have to endure the headache of listening to children complain about having to do chores, but they will none the less do the tasks you ask of them.

Assigning chores to children is a wonderful value to give. You not only teach them about cleanliness, but they also learn about time management and respect for others property.

To get started, you'll need to make a list of chores that need to be done in your house on a regular basis. You will want to include jobs such as taking out the garbage, washing the dishes, taking care of pets and doing yard work. Each child who is over the age of 10 should also be responsible for cleaning their own room and doing their own laundry. Now, I know what you're thinking... A 10 year old doing laundry? Yes, you heard me correctly, any child over the age of 10 should be able to operate a washer and dryer. Take the time to show them how to separate colors and how to operate the machines. If you don't feel comfortable allowing your children to use the washer and dryer, at least have them fold, hang, and put away their own clothing.

Divide the list among your children, assigning equally difficult/easy tasks among them to avoid arguments. Another option is to give them the list of weekly assignments and allow them to compromise the list between themselves. However, if you choose to let them decide how to divide up chores, be sure to stay out of arguments. Leave the deciding up to them!

Create rewards for doing chores and consequences for not doing them. You can have allowances for the chores that are completed, and punishments for those that are not. Try not to scold if a chore goes uncompleted. Just be sure that the consequence for not completing the task is big enough that it will encourage your child to pitch in the next week. Some consequences I have used are not being able to stay up later on weekends, not being able to go somewhere like the movies, etc. The excuse I use is that I'm too busy, doing the chores they didn't complete, to take them anywhere.

Many parents discourage the use of money as a means of allowance. However, money is one of the best motivators for most people, whether we like it or not. Having allowance for money is not only rewarding, but can teach your child about money management and saving for things they want. You need to decide how you will handle the rewards and punishments for chores. If the chores aren't getting done, you need to revise your consequences. All children need to learn that they will eventually have to do things they don't want to do. This doesn't mean they can't have fun. Have children make up games. Make cleaning a race--whoever gets done the quickest gets ice cream.

If children become bored with the routine schedule, encourage them to rotate chores to keep them motivated. No one likes doing the same thing day after day, and kids like it even less.

If you want your children to help pitch in with a big chore like cleaning a large room in the house, play a game such as: Hiding a prize in the room. Each person has to clean to find the prize. Make sure you hide the prize well to encourage actual cleaning. Think of other games you can play while cleaning to keep your child, and yourself, motivated.

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