Have you ever found yourself in a place where you have asked your child to tidy their room or cupboard or even lend you a hand with dishwashing or washing clothes? Well, yeah. That is exactly what we are talking about.
A lot can be learned from doing household chores. Doing chores helps one learn the skills they need in their adult lives, such as preparing meals, cleaning and organizing. Being involved in chores help in learning what they need to do to care for oneself, a home, and a family. It also gives an experience of relationship skills like clear communication, negotiation, cooperation, and teamwork.
When children do their chores, it stirs a feeling of responsibility within them. They might not enjoy doing the chore, they continue doing it to get the satisfaction that comes with finishing the given task. When kids help out, chores get completed sooner.
Chores should be chosen as per their age. A chore that is too easy, will be boring for them, whereas a chore that is difficult will be frustrating. You can ask them to do simple jobs like keeping back their own toys once they are done playing, or keeping their plates in the dishwasher after they have had their meal, or helping you set and clear the table.
But how can you motivate your child to get involved in chores? Here is how:
Initially, when you ask your child to do a particular chore, help them with it. If you help a little by little, they will soon learn how to do that chore on their own. Once they are ready, you must allow them to do the chore on their own. This way they learn how to help others, and get the work done.
Make a chore chart with tick boxes. After the completion of a task or a chore, ask your child to tick the box. Writing chores on a chart and hanging it on the fridge or a wall that your child is most likely to see repetitively, would make them get the work done as it keeps on flashing in front of their eyes.
If your child asks, “Why should I make my bed?”, or “Why should I put my clothes and dishes for washing?”, then you should tell them why. Tell them that a neat and clean place is a place liked by all. And no one likes to be near a place that is not clean, Dirty places attract bacteria and would make one fall sick.
Each time your child completes a task or a chore, praise them. When you appreciate one’s efforts, they are most likely to do more chores in order to be praised more often. A praise is like a recognition of the hard work your child is doing. So don’t forget to praise them!
If you want, you can give them pocket money as a reward. But do not provide them with a daily based pocket money. Either keep it weekly or monthly. In case if they forget to do a certain chore of the day, or if they skip a chore, deduct a small amount and tell them why you did so. This way, they learn that not fulfilling a specific task could lead to deduction as well.
You don’t actually have to punish them. If your child is skipping a chore or forgetting a task to be done, you can just simply deduct their playtime or TV time. You can also deduct their pocket money and tell them why are you doing so. They should be aware of their mistakes.
Sometimes you can even ask your child what chore would they prefer to do. If you keep on forcing your child to do something they don’t like, they either get frustrated, or they might just ignore you and not to do the chore at all. To avoid this situation, you should ask them about the chore or task they would like to do. A task that they prefer to do, will be done merrily. Else they might just end up wasting time, not getting the task done and could mess up as well. But that doesn’t mean that they get the privilege to skip out on a maximum number of chores.
Motivating a child to do household chores is a task in its own way. But doing chores together strengthens your bond, increases family time, decreases the load on one person, brings in a sense of responsibility, and keeps your surroundings clean. The biggest plus point is that your child will have a neat and clean, responsible as well as an organised adult life.