Motivate Kids to Do Chores
Is it hard to get your kids to do their chores? It can be a battle to get them to clean up their toys, put away their shoes, do their homework, and other tasks. There are ways you can make chore time a positive experience, and help motivate your kids to get their tasks done. Here are some tips.
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The best way to inspire kids is to work with their natural, intrinsic drive to be productive — even creative — contributors to the household. Kids will feel like they are a part of something larger than themselves.
Psychologists recommend establishing privileges in your home and then working out a chore schedule that allows kids to earn their privileges. For example, if your young child enjoys playing with his toy cars, set up a chore list where certain chores earn him a half hour of car play time.
The same principle could be applied to a teenager who likes to spend time on social networking, or a preschooler who enjoys playing with blocks. If you make enjoyable tasks into things your children earn, then the chores can be their way to earn these privileges.
Make a Chart
The concept of earning privileges through doing chores may be made easier with a chart. And this gives kids control over what privileges they earn and so forth. It encourages them to participate and gets involved rather than avoiding Mom and Dad who are nagging all the time about chores.
For very young children who can’t read, you can use pictures – have a picture of the chore, then a picture of the privilege and draw a line or arrow connecting them. For older kids, you can even have them earn play money with their chores. “Putting away shoes = $3” for example. Then privileges “cost” certain amounts: “One-half hour of television = $5.” Your kids can “pay” you with the play money. Or you can simply make a chart that shows which chores earn which privileges.
It’s been said that getting up off your rear and helping your kids get their things done is helpful. It makes sense – kids (and adults) may resent being told to get to work by someone who’s sitting on the couch. So get up and participate – don’t do your kids’ chores for them, but work on your own clean-up chores at the same time, or pick up items you want your kids to put away and hand these to them.
Sometimes, kids – especially young ones – need to be “walked through” a chore. Some kids need for you to point out the toys that have to be put away, or the laundry that’s waiting to be put away.
If possible, make chores into games. Young kids might enjoy pretending to be a clean-up robot. You can pretend to operate the remote with “buttons” for fast, slow, and so forth. Older kids might get a kick out of a trash can mounted on the wall that they can “shoot” for like basketball. Homework is homework, but you can make it a game by letting your kids earn points or treats for each homework assignment they complete.
One reason children don’t enjoy chores is if they’ve never been trained to do them properly. Introduce new chores to your children in a calm and enjoyable way, at a time of the day when they are fresh.