Want some help but can’t figure out how to get your kids to do chores without the drama?
Kids and chores are such a difficult situation.
Your kids are probably already aware that they need to do chores. But it can be difficult to make them do the work without creating drama in your home, especially since they’re just not that into it.
Here’s an interesting statistic: mothers spend an average of 2 hours each day doing household activities. If they have to work and be a mom on top of that, it would be difficult for them to handle all the household chores by themselves. The best way to solve this dilemma?
Get the kids involved!
Here are some helpful tips for getting your kids’ chores done without drama.”
Is it very easy?
Of course, you want greener gardens and a cleaner house. But sometimes the simplest things may seem too hard for children like them to get their act together and complete.
If your children are begging, whining, or complaining about doing their chores, there is a solution to reverse such defiant behavior.
For many, asking the kids to help out at home can be a challenging feat. Fortunately, nowadays, there’s no shortage of ways you can get kids to help willingly, minus all the fuss and drama.
How to Get Help at Home From Kids Without Any Drama
“Chores are magical!” says Dr. Deborah Gilboa, a family physician, author, and parenting expert, in her popular TEDx talk “The Expectation Gap.”Dr. Gilboa is a supporter of assigning children chores because they teach kids about gratitude and letting kids know that they are valued, important members of the family.
“By requiring work that makes your home run, [kids] know they’re crucial to the smooth operation of your world, and their confidence will increase as they realize they’re needed and not just wanted,” she says.
Surprisingly, there are various ways you can get your kids to help at home without the power struggles and the constant nagging. The next time you want your kids to help out, keep the following practical tips in mind:
Make helping out with the chores a requirement before the next activity
The next time your kids ask to watch their favorite show on TV, allow them to do so only after tidying their rooms. If they want to play a video game, ask them to do the dishes first. When you make a particular chore a requirement before they move onto an activity they enjoy, you make household chores an integral part of their day.
The idea is to tie the chore to an activity. Here’s another example: if they want to play a game of chase, make them clear out all the clutter in their rooms first. Also, activities don’t have to feel like a reward but rather a sequence of events. For example, they need to put their jackets and shoes in the right places before playing.
Explain the positive consequences of helping with the household chores
Some parents commit the mistake of focusing on the drudgery of the task instead of the positive consequences. This will not only make them associate the chore with something negative, but it also robs them of the opportunity to appreciate the positive consequences of helping out.
For instance, if they tidy their playroom, they would enjoy playtime better and play longer. If they do their chores right away, they can spend more quality time with their siblings or friends. Ideally, you need to highlight the positive outcomes of helping out so they would be able to associate chores with something good.
Teach them Chores are Privileges not Punishments
You can make sure that your kids realize that doing chores is a privilege and not a punishment. If your children are old enough to understand the concept of delayed gratification, then you have less on your plate. They can be responsible for their allowance to spend it as they wish later on in life.
On the other hand, if your child is younger than this, you can teach them about how if they do chores now they will have an easier life later on. They will have more time to play and get to do things with their friends since a lot of the work is already done for them.
You can even take them on a tour of their home and point out the rooms that would be very messy without chores like theirs.
Another thing you can do is to let your children help decorate their bedroom. If your child does not like to do chores, they may be shy to clean up their bedroom. They can be in charge of making sure it stays okay and neat so that you don’t have to step back into the room and give them a dirty look when they start acting up.
This will show them that it is not fun and that if they don’t take care of their room, they won’t get to play there anymore.
Ensure you remove any distractions
If your kids are too distracted to help with the household chores, it would make sense that you remove anything that is distracting them. In most cases, this would involve turning electronics off. It would also be best if they are not allowed to watch TV or play video games until they have done all their chores.
It would also be a good idea to talk to your kids about the distractions but keep it brief. Ask them what’s keeping them from doing their tasks. Inquire about their plans once they have gotten their tasks out of the way.
Motivate them to do their chores first so that they can do what they enjoy after. When you appeal to your child’s self-interest rather than attempting to explain an abstract concept like duty or responsibility, you will be able to convince them to help without any fuss.
Set a time limit for the chores
Setting a time limit would be a great way to help your child finish their chores right away. For instance, you can tell them you expect them to finish washing the dishes in 20 minutes. If they have not finished the chore in the allotted time, you can set their bedtime 30 minutes earlier, or they can lose some play or TV time.
The beauty of this system is you won’t have to constantly nag them about tasks or chores you need to get done. Instead, you will just be keeping time. You can even set a timer if you want. To ensure they understand the lesson you want to impart, it would be best to talk to them about it.
For example, you can tell them, “Let’s finish the task within the time we have set. Remember, you didn’t enjoy going to bed too early.” You can also provide incentives. For instance, you can say, “If you finish the task within 15 minutes, you can play with your siblings or friends for 15 more minutes.”
The last strategy can make doing household chores stimulating and exciting for your kids. While they won’t be losing anything if the task is not done within the agreed time frame, they will gain something if they do. This type of reward system is preferable since it is less punitive. They are given an incentive to do better.
Create a chore structure
When it comes to completing household tasks, the structure is crucial. It’s important to designate age-appropriate chores for your kids.
It is also recommended that there should be a set time when the chores are carried out. Evenings would be the best time for them to do chores during school days as it won’t add to the intensity and stress of going to school.
It is also ideal to have them make their beds, clean out any clutter, and keep their rooms tidy before watching TV or playing video games. This would be a great way to teach them that they have to finish their responsibilities first before they can have some free time.
The idea is not to pull them from doing something exciting, just to do something boring and mundane. Instead, you want them to work through the boring and mundane things first so they can get to do something exciting. It is also crucial that you know how your children are using their time.
If they are not doing their chores because they are doing something else like reading comic books or watching TV, you need to ensure you stop the pattern. The choice should not be a chore versus the excitement. It should be boredom or chore. It is essential to make your kids understand that they don’t get to have fun until they have finished all their tasks.
So no playing with friends until the chores are done. Or no electronics until chores are finished. The alternative to doing chores should be boredom. With a similar structure, they would prefer to do their chores first so they can move on to doing the things they want to do and enjoy doing.
It would also be a great idea to set aside time where all the kids get to do their chores simultaneously. For instance, while your 12-year-old is unloading the dishwasher, have your 15-year-old take out the garbage. This strategy can help ensure no one feels like they are missing out.
Use a reward system
To entice your kids to do their chores willingly, have a reward system in place. For instance, you can put a chart on the refrigerator with their names and their chores listed next to their names. Each time they finish tasks that are assigned to them, they get a checkmark.
As soon as they get five checkmarks, they get a reward. Maybe it’s staying up 30 minutes more. Maybe, you can give them more screen or playtime. It would also be a good idea to give them some monetary reward. This strategy would be a good idea as you can teach them to work hard to earn money.
At the same time, when they are earning money, you can use it as an opportunity to teach them about financial responsibility as well. Being paid for their contribution will also help them realize that they would need to earn it if they want anything. In addition, it can also help them learn which to prioritize first.
Some parents may also get debit cards for kids so they can reward their efforts and teach them about financial literacy at the same time.
If you want your kids to take what you say seriously, your actions should align with what you are saying. When you are strict about the rules one time and lenient the next, they will take your word for granted. This is also true if you don’t follow through with the consequences you have laid out.
If you threaten less play or screen time for not finishing their chores within the agreed time, make sure you follow through even if they hurl mean words, whine, or throw tantrums. If you want to get anything done and you want them to appreciate the value of what they are doing, you need to be consistent throughout.
Give them more autonomy
You wouldn’t want someone micromanaging all your moves and correcting your every mistake, right? Your kids are not different. While unfortunate to note, many parents want to dictate how everything needs to be done rather than giving their children some autonomy.
For instance, if they are washing the dishes, decide what needs to be corrected. If they didn’t wash all the soapsuds from the plates, point that one out. If they put the plate on the other side of the dish rack, let it go. The more autonomy your kids have, the more they are encouraged to help out with the chores.
For many parents, getting their kids to help with household chores can be a challenge. Fortunately, while challenging, it can be done. Try some (or all!) of the tips laid out above, and you are a step closer to achieving your objective.
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How to Get Your Kids to Do Chores Without the Drama
Samantha Green is the Content Marketing Strategist for the MCA award-winning app, BusyKid, the first and only chore and allowance platform where kids can earn, save, share, spend, and invest their allowance. A mom of two, she enjoys spending time with her kids and reading books to them.