It’s a commonly agreed fact that chores are an important part of your little ones’ upbringing. They teach responsibility and good attitudes towards work, help them feel that they are part of the family and, above anything, they teach basic life skills (and honestly, how many people have you met that don’t know how to operate a washing machine?).
However, the essentialness of chores does not mean that your child will enjoy them at first – as every parent will know! There can be battles and tantrums, demands for the reasoning behind the task… and all over just making the bed in the morning, or putting electric scooters back into the shed when they’re finished playing with them!
But do not despair! There are things you can do to help your child enjoy their chores more…
Intersperse the dull with the fun
Make sure your little one is not just doing the really, really boring tasks that you don’t want to do. There are certain tasks we all hate to do, and ones that we don’t mind so much – so try and give your child a variation of the two. If he dusted the living room yesterday, maybe he can do something a little more fun, like brushing the cat, today.
Making a chore wheel, or a chore chart if you have more than one child, ensures that no one is doing the same task every day, and no one gets upset about ‘their’ chore being unfair compared to someone else’s.
Starting chores when your child is still a toddler is arguably the best way forward. At a young age they learn they have a part in the family, and they’re expected to help.
Also, when your child is little, anything can be made into a game! If you have a fluffy, flat-headed duster, pop some googly eyes on the top and pretend it’s the dust monster’s feeding time. Splitting the washing into different coloured loads can be a great educational game, as can sorting out clean cutlery from the dishwasher.
Let yours and your child’s imaginations run wild, and they’ll practically be begging you to clean stuff!
Praise, praise, praise
Whatever your child does for you, make sure you praise them for it, not just after, but during the task as well. Also, make sure you’re not re-doing every task you ask your little one to do afterwards, or taking over – some gentle guidance when needed makes sure they won’t resent doing chores. Remember, a “You’re doing a great job there!” can go a long way towards making the task enjoyable!
Make it a job, not a chore!
Although chores should be done primarily for the satisfaction of helping the family out, sometimes an allowance can be a good way to encourage slightly older kids to participate and to teach them about money management. If they’re saving up for something, like kids electric cars, then this incentive is especially helpful.
If you have more than one child, you can operate a bidding scheme for those chores that no one wants to do, so the lowest bid for the task wins. If you just have the one son or daughter, for these kinds of most-hated chores you can always set up a standing rate for them – so, $5 to clean the oven, and suchlike.
Do you have any tips to make chores enjoyable for your kids?
About the author: Estelle Page is a self-employed interior designer on a mission to make the world a prettier place to live in, one home at a time. Inspired by antique homes and the great outdoors, it’s her passion to help every person to find that perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality in their own home. She’s also a keen DIYer and gardener with an interest in eco-friendly, green design.