Kids helping with household chores not only makes your day a little bit easier, but it can also have benefits for them. But, actually getting them to want to help can sometimes be a challenge. Here are a few ways to motivate your children to complete their chores so that everyone ends up happy.
Many children feel a sense of satisfaction from knowing that they’re being helpful, and household chores are a great way for them to get that emotional boost while helping with something practical.
Researchers have found that, while younger children are more likely to have tantrums, they also can be very eager to help, even without the promise of some kind of reward. So, starting early, when your children are around two years of age, can help to make the most of their innate desire to help, as well as help them learn vital skills such as accountability, perseverance and empathy. But what if your children need a bit more encouragement? Don’t despair, as there are other methods you can use.
A rewards-based system, where children earn pocket money, or points, stars or incentives that accrue towards bigger rewards, can be a very useful way to encourage your children to help out, as it shows them that their efforts can actually bring them something tangible which they can use for their own purposes. Many young kids will derive a lot of pleasure from knowing that they were able to buy a game or some Lego because they were helpful.
Given how so many of us live our lives digitally, with all manner of distractions, it can be tough for children to want to do their chores when there’s an episode of Peppa Pig or an online game to finish. For this reason, devices, computers and television can actually be used as their incentives, so they know that if they help out, then they can watch something or play a game later.
It’s amazing how children can be convinced to do something quite boring like cleaning up if you happen to make it fun. You can use a timer to see who can clean up the fastest, or create a chores calendar as an arts project, or even allow them to make some mess provided they know they’ll have to clean it up afterwards.
It’s much easier to get children to do chores if they feel like they’ve been given options, rather than being forced. For example, if there are several chores to complete, you can ask which one they want to do, instead of telling them which to do.
If you created a chores calendar, you can include not only the tasks that need to be done and when, but also information on rewards such as screen time, so that they can see when their work will “pay off”. As many kids love to have structure in their lives, a calendar is a really useful tool for everyone.