Getting Chores Done
Joey & Carla Link
April 22, 2020
Teaching your children to work isn’t the easiest task for parents. While it will determine how successful your child’s future will be, when he/she is whining or arguing with you about doing their chores, all you can think of is next time just do themyourself. Stop reminding your kids to do what they already know they are supposed to do and stop lecturing them when they don’t do it. They aren’t listening anyway.
The following are some helpful guidelines for you when dealing with kids and chores.
- Keep your expectations age appropriate. Don’t tell a 3 year old to clean his room. He will walk in, look at the mess and not knowing where to begin, sit down and play. Do write down all that needs to be done to get his room clean and give him one at a time to do. Tell him to come back to you when he gets his books picked up. When he gets there tell him you can’t wait to see what a good job he did picking up his books and go with him to check and see if they are picked up. If so, give him another thing on the list you made. If not, ask him if he needs help and when he says he does, help him get them picked up. Then tell him you know he can do the next item without you and you can’t wait to see what a good job he did. Keep at it until everything is picked up.
On the other hand, do expect your kids from ages 7 yrs. on up to be able to remember to get their chores and schoolwork done with no reminders from you.
- Consequences will be needed. Our rule was to get one thing out and put it away before getting another out. Your preschooler doesn’t want to put his toys away? He can’t play with anything else until he does. Your 10 year old is on the computer but hasn’t done his chores? The most effective consequence that works for all ages is to take away the freedom of what they were doing instead of completing the assigned task. He loses the freedom of the computer/phone until he is characterized by getting his stuff done before he has free time. When we say “characterized” we mean more than one time. For a 10 yr. old we would take away the privilege of the computer for a minimum of a week and would need to see him get his stuff done before he did something he wanted to do 5 days in a row. You want to see your children change? Toughen your consequences.
- Praise and encouragement go a long, long way to getting your kids to be responsible. When your child is responsible, especially without a reminder from you, praise him.Praise is telling him that he did a good job. Encouragement is giving him the courage to do the right thing. When you tell your 3 yr. old you can’t wait to see what a good job he does when picking up his toys you are giving him encouragement.
- One of the main reasons kids aren’t good stewards of their things and getting their stuff done is because they don’t think you are paying attention. If they are supposed to have chores done before breakfast, when they come to eat, ask them if you need to go check and see if they are done. If they aren’t characterized by doing them consistently, don’t assume they have just because they are sitting at the table ready to eat.
Paying attention to what your kids are or aren’t doing and being consistent with encouragement, praise and consequences will give you a calmer home.