Three Tips to Get Kids to Help at Home
Written by Maggie Cerria
Reviewed by Ali Kresch Levine, PsyD
Are your kids excited to help out around the house when it comes time to lend a hand with chores? As parents, we know that it’s not always easy to get our kids to lend a hand with household chores, and believe it or not, kids of all ages can chip in and help around the house. Chores help to teach kids responsibility and accountability. Chores can inspire kids to feel accomplished when completing tasks on their own and they help to embed crucial life skills they will need when the time comes for them to spread their wings and live independently on their own. Here are some tips you can use at home to help get your kids to chip in and get their chores checked off their list!
- Create A List - Make a simple list of chores you need to get done around the house and thinking about the child’s age when dividing out the tasks that need to be completed is important to keep in mind. Kids as young as two, are more capable than you think and can complete simple chores like making their bed and picking up their toys with supervision. Kids that are at the primary ages of 4-8 can tackle tasks that are a bit more detailed such as emptying the dishwasher with supervision, folding clothes and matching socks in the laundry, or even being responsible for filling the family’s pet food and water bowls. For our ‘tweens and teens’, washing dishes, mowing the lawn with supervision, raking leaves, and taking out the trash are all chores that are manageable for them to complete without assistance.
- Teach Them HOW To Do It But Don’t Stress Perfection. I remember the first time we told our daughter to load the dishwasher. While she completed the task, I was shocked to find the disarray when the cycle was complete and the cups were not upside down and were all filled with water. What a mess it was when we slid the top rack out of the dishwasher and water went everywhere! Dishwasher duty was second nature to us but was new to her, and we realized we never taught her how to load the dishwasher correctly. It only took us five minutes to teach her the correct way to load the dishes in, and then she was off and running on her own. And remember, there is no such thing as perfection, so give them a bit of a break, and if the job is completed without you having to yell or nag them, we’d consider that success, even if it does mean minor rearranging of the dishes now and then!
- Motivate and Encourage - Pump up the Praise! Instead of waiting until the chore is complete, inspire your kids to get the chores completed as they are doing it. Goodtimer is a new and innovative family toy that will help motivate your kids to get the job done along the way! It uses positive reinforcement in the form of encouraging sounds, soothing green lights to keep your kids encouraged as they do their chores, and Goodtimer offers tangible incentives to help your kids form awesome habits such as helping around the house more often.
If you are looking for tips to learn how to divide and conquer the household chores, keep in mind the simple tips of creating a list, teaching kids the know-how, and be sure to add in some motivation to encourage your kids to lend a hand and get the job done.