Editor’s Pick. Written by Sue Elvis.
It took me years to work out how to encourage my children to help with the household chores. Before that happened, I tried all the usual methods:
I designed rosters with jobs for each child for each day of the week. I wrote out lists of chores and let my children choose: first in, first choice. I tried a lucky dip system. I tried to disguise chores as games. I let my children experience the consequences of undone chores . By turn, I wheedled and threatened, pleaded and demanded, praised and complained. And yes, the chores got done and we lived in a clean and tidy house. But my children worked only because I prodded them along. They never learnt to gladly offer their help.
I knew there must be a better way, but for a long time, I was too busy and tired to want to discover it. With a baby crying in my arms, and mess everywhere, I just wanted the jobs done NOW and quickly: “I’ve asked you for help. Please do it!”
Then one day I stopped and thought about how I reacted when my children asked me for help.