Getting your kids to do chores is not an easy task. In our household, we struggle with it as well. Our kids fuss and whine about doing stuff around the house just like all kids but we approach it a bit differently.
We teach our kids that doing chores around the house is a part of being a family. It’s not a job that is paid. It’s an expectation. We expect our children to be helpful and cooperative.
Here are ways to get your children to do chores:
Like brushing teeth, chores need to be structured into the day. Have a schedule in place for the kids to follow. For very young children, pictures on a chart work well. For older kids, writing out a schedule is very helpful. Dishes, setting the table, taking out the trash and making beds are all things that need to be delegated. Once the children get used to the routine and structure, chances are they won’t complain as much cause it’s just a part of their day.
Show your children that you too serve them by making meals for them, washing their clothes, driving them places. You are a part of the family dynamics as well and you perform duties for them as well. Also, having a cheerful disposition while doing these acts of service, shows your children a positive attitude.
I’m a big believer in zone cleaning. If you designate certain areas of the home to each child, it becomes easier to get the jobs done. For instance: bathroom (empty out the garbage, wipe mirror, clean sink, put stuff away from the counter), kitchen (unload dishwasher, clear table, clean-up crumbs), entryway (tidy up shoes, put coats away, vacuum). The zones may be rotated either weekly or monthly. Different chores have different age appropriateness; use discretion. A great resource for zone cleaning is the website: Fly Lady.
A note about allowance:
We, as parents don’t believe in giving allowance for daily chores. We believe it doesn’t create an intrinsic act of service. Paying for special chores, like cutting the grass or weeding the garden is something we may do occasionally.