We know it’s not easy to keep a home neat and clean, but when it comes to tackling chores it’s much better to make it a team effort then to go it alone. Here are some tips and tricks on how to get everybody involved.
Start Them Young
Do you think your child(ren) are too young to take on chores? Think again! Younger children are natural helpers and take pride in accomplishing tasks. The key is assigning tasks that are within their capabilities. If your children are young 2 or 3 years of age, assign a simple task such as putting their toys away when they are done playing. At first you will need to help them and give them direction. For example, if there are a pile of Lego blocks on the floor, tell them you would like them to put their Legos away. Show them where they go; being specific will make it easier for them to understand what you want them to do. It also helps to label toy bins with pictures so they know what bins to put specific toys back into. Initially you will put in more time, but once you have helped them a few times they will want to do this on their own.
With Age Comes Responsibility
As children get older, don’t hesitate to give them more responsibility. Take advantage of your child’s curiosity of spray bottles, Swiffers and their natural closeness to the floor. Show them how to do a task, explain the step by step process, and let them try it on their own. Remember, it’s important to thank them and remind them that everyone in the household has an important job to do. Unfortunately, as they get a little older you may find that they need a little more than praise to motivate them. Here are some tricks to try:
- Embrace Their Imagination. Young kids around 5 or 6 years of age have huge imaginations, so use that to your benefit and make it fun for them. Create a character for them to become, like “Danielle the Dust Buster” or “Carter’s Cleaning Crew” and dress them up with rubber gloves, aprons or hats that help them play the part.
- Just Dance. Play some music and have your kids dance through their chores! Make it more fun by handing out medals for creative cleaning dance moves.
- Sticker Chart. Make a sheet and hang it where your child can see it. List all their chores in one column and in another column list rewards and the number of stickers it takes to redeem each reward. As they accomplish each chore, give them a sticker. Once they have enough to redeem a reward they have a choice to make: cash them in and get their reward, or save them to cash in later for an even bigger reward. For example, if your child has earned 5 stickers and the reward for 5 stickers is their pick for family movie night, but the reward for 10 stickers is a trip to the movie theater, they can cash them in for the first reward or save them until they have more stickers for the next reward. Once they cash in their stickers they start from the beginning again. You pick the rewards and you set the sticker amounts, you can go as high as you want, and be sure to switch out the rewards from time to time to hold their interest. This will help motivate them without rewarding every task they accomplish.
As your children grow older how you reward or motivate them will become more sophisticated, but don’t focus on the rewards. Instill in them the reasoning behind why everyone in the household has responsibilities and why it’s important as a family for it to be a team effort. There shouldn’t have to be a reward for every time your child helps out around the house, they should want to help out and feel good about why they are doing it.
Do As I Do
It is important for everyone to have chores in the household, including the adults in the home. When you make a chore list be sure to add yourself and your spouse to it so your children can see how everyone plays a part.
As your kids get older they can take on more responsibility, and as a family you can all change up the duties every once in awhile to ensure nobody gets bored of doing the same thing over and over again. Sit down once a month to delegate chores and divide them up by how long each one takes. So if the total amount of time it takes to accomplish all chores is 30 minutes and there are 4 people in your household, everyone needs to choose 7-8 minutes worth of chores to make it fair. Add some fun by challenging each other to go above and beyond with their chores during the month, whoever does go the extra mile gets first dibs on picking chores for the following month.
Cleaning the home doesn’t have to be a dull chore. If you work together as a team it can actually be fun! If you have any suggestions, tips or tricks to add please let us know in the comments below; we would love to hear what works for you!
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