Getting Kids to Help with the Chores
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.