Ask any mother if her children listen, and when she’s done laughing, she’ll ask if you have any advice. It’s difficult enough to get kids to tune in. But when it comes to convincing them to do chores, the effort can feel herculean.
Not that we can blame them, because chores aren’t fun! So it’s a parent’s job to make them seem that way, whether it’s taking out the trash, dusting or vacuuming, or just picking up toys after playtime.
The secret? Learn from the experts: other moms. Here are five parent-approved tips for getting kids to complete their chores.
Sometimes doing the same thing in a new way sparks action. Let your child pick a favorite radio station or CD, and crank up the music while he or she completes the task.
Or let your kids wear costumes or goofy hats while they work. Encourage silliness and dance moves so they have fun completing their assigned chores.
Kids like to be in charge, so try incentivizing them by letting them be the boss. Whether they get to pick dinner, a movie, or what to do on a Saturday afternoon, reward them with the big cheese role.
Be sure to define what chores need to be completed to win. Also, put a limit on the time they hold the boss title, so they don’t get carried away.
The Grand Prize Winner
Ever wonder why family fun centers are so popular? It’s the prizes! It doesn’t matter if that Tootsie Roll cost you $50, right? Your kid has to win.
Why not apply that same motivation at home?
Place a jar in the kitchen or other common area. For every chore completed, your child earns a ticket, poker chip, coin, marble, etc. When your kid has accumulated the right amount, he or she wins an agreed-upon prize.
The Chart Master
Moms around the world swear by the chore chart. Use a dry erase board, chalk board, or regular paper, and map out five to eight chores for the week.
When the chore is complete, let the child mark it off. (Stickers work, too.) When the chart is full, the child gets an agreed-upon reward.
Tip: For multiple kids, make it a race. The one who completes all chores first wins and gets a bigger/different/better reward than the others.
The High Roller
For kids who understand the value of a quarter or dollar, money talks. Help the child decide what to work toward, and set the rate to the job.
Keep a basket, jar, or piggy bank in a common area so everyone can see it. Tip: Set a savings deadline — e.g., $10 by the end of the month — so there’s a sense of urgency to earn.