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Getting your kids to do chores, Part 4

June 8th, 2009

I am back with the last in the series of Getting Your Kids to Do Chores.

(Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)

Getting our kids to do chores will always be a point of contention. After all, who wants to do chores? Considering that as the given, our approach to getting our kids to do chores must be done with wisdom and finesse.

Here are my words of wisdom that I hope will help you:

DO’s and DON’Ts of getting our kids to do chores:

1. DO use a system to keep the child accountable. A chart to earn stickers, a jar to earn pennies, a system of earning a reward, all these are great ways to provide for accountability.  Be creative and come up with amusing reward systems. DON’T you be the one to keep him accountable. Instead of asking your child, “Have you taken out the trash?”, let him get use to checking the progress himself with the chart you set up. Back off and let the system do the job.

2. DO give positive praise such as, “Glad you took out the trash!” DON’T say, “It’s about time you finally took out the trash!”

3. DO emphasize the child’s contribution to the family. “Picking up your toys keeps the house clean for everyone to enjoy.” DON’T make chores a personal issue between you and your child.I want you to pick up the toys.”

4. DO be compassionate. For example, give surprise days off once in a while. “Today, I’ll take out the trash to give you a day off.” Everyone likes a boss who is kind. DON’T be a sergeant. “Get out there and take out the trash, NOW!”

5. DO keep in mind the bigger picture of chores for your child. You are suppose to teach him to contribute to the family. DON’T let the issue of chores become so contentious that you become enemies. If you are always fighting about chores, your child is not learning about the value of family. It becomes counterproductive.

I hear often from kids that their parents are always nagging them to do their chores. If chores begin to define your relationship with your child, then back off, and see how you can mend the relationship with a different approach.

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  1. Great article. I’ve have been thinking a lot about how I need to implement some kind of system for Mr. Busypants to do jobs. One of his jobs is to bring in the trash can and recycle boxes. He LOVES doing that. ANother “job” is to watch his 2 year old sister. Talk about the privledge of being a drill seargent. So trying to teach him responsibility and about earning $$.


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