How to Get your Kids to Help with Chores

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Have you noticed that your kids will do just about anything to get out of doing chores?  Kids don’t usually volunteer to help out and many parents may feel it’s just easier to do the chores themselves and avoid arguing with their kids about it.

It may seem easier to do everything yourself, but chores teach your kids important life lessons that they’ll need one day.  Here’s how to get your kids off the couch and doing chores.

Make Chores Predictable

Schedule a set time each week when everyone does chores together.  For instance, Saturday morning from 9 to 10. Then you don’t have to argue with your kids about when their chores need to get done.  Getting everyone doing chores at the same time also helps your kids learn that everyone is responsible for helping out.

Assign Chores by Age

Give your child chores that are within their abilities. For instance . . .

  • 4 and 5 year olds can sort socks, put away toys, and set the table.
  • 6 and 7 year olds can walk the dog, empty the dishwasher, pack lunch, and make their bed.
  • 8 and 9 year olds can load the dishwasher, feed and care for the family pet, and fold and put away laundry.
  • 10 and 11 year olds can put the groceries away, sort and wash their own laundry, take out trash
  • 12 and 13 year olds can vacuum and mop the floors, change bed sheets, cut the grass, and make easy meals

Use Chores to Teach Life Skills

Chores are more than just helping out around the house; they are lessons in basic life skills. By loading the dishwasher, cutting the grass, or doing laundry, kids learn how handle the things they will one day need to do on their own.  They will also learn how to help out and be a team player, which will one day benefit them at work.

Add Variety

Have your kids draw cards or create a rotation system to the chore assignments for the week.  This way they will learn a variety of different tasks and won’t complain about always having to do the same things over and over.

Use these simple tips to get your kids to help with chores around the house!

Make Chores Visual

Some chores need to be done daily; others are just once-a-week. Post a calendar system for keeping track of the chores so everyone can see what needs to be done and which ones still have to be completed.  

Make Chores Personal

Cleaning his or her own room will make a lot more sense to your child than having to pick up their sibling’s room. By assigning chores that are more personal to them, kids will learn self-reliance.

Be Realistic

While you should make it clear ahead of time what counts as a completed chore, you might also need to relax your standards a little, especially when it comes to young children. If your child knows that you sneak into their room to straighten the bed after it’s made, they’ll think they don’t do it right so they may as well leave it for you. Praise will help build your child’s confidence and make chore time a little easier.

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