Hi Friends, today I wanted to talk to you about chores for kids!
I think chores are a great way to teach kids life skills and how to be responsible. Chores also give kids a sense of accomplishment when they finish a task. Even if your kids don’t enjoy doing chores, cough-cough…teenagers, they are still learning life skills.
When we give our kids chores, I like to think of them in two different categories responsibilities & chores. Responsibilities are daily tasks like brushing teeth, making your bed, getting dressed, picking up after yourself, etc. All things that are required of you to function as a human. Chores are tasks that need to be taken care of to maintain a household like sweeping the floor, unloading the dishwasher, taking the trash out, mowing the lawn, etc.
Chores are also a way that our kids earn an allowance.
Here are some easy tips to get your kids started on chores.
1. Assigning age-appropriate chores.
Assigning age-appropriate chores is really important when getting started with younger kids. You don’t want to give your child a task that is going to be too hard for them to complete or too overwhelming or too many chores. This is a learning experience and may come with you teaching them how to properly do a chore. Also with older kids, you may want to give them something that is going to be outside of their wheelhouse and teach them how to mow the lawn properly or how to do laundry, etc.
If you have a child with special needs as we do, it’s important to give them chores too but make sure it’s a chore they can do and complete with little to no help.
One thing that you have to remember as a parent is a task isn’t going to be completed as perfect as if you’d did it and it may take longer.
2. Make a chore chart.
To track your child’s assigned chores and to check off when they’ve been completed, you need some sort of a chore chart. Chore charts do not need to be fancy, they just need to be visual so everyone can see what they are expected to do on which day and to track their progress. I created a simple & free chore chart below.
Remember when you make your chore chart, some days are going to be more stressful than others because of homework or sports practices after school, etc. Try to have certain chores be completed on days that are lighter for them so the kids don’t get overwhelmed.
3. Hang your chart where you can see them.
Deciding where to hang your chore chart is important because you want it to be visual. If your chore chart is magnetic, a good place would be on the refrigerator. If you created or printed one out on paper you can clip it to the front of your refrigerator or hang them in the hallway by the kids’ bedrooms.
You can hang the chore chart anywhere, just make sure it’s visual.
4. What’s the reward.
Talk with your kids and decide what the reward is for completing their chores for the week. Are they earning an allowance, do they get to pick out something at the store, are you taking them to get ice cream…determine what the incentive is.
5. Determine the consequence.
If your child is choosing not to complete their chores there needs to be some sort of a consequence. Now there are going to be times when they’re not able to complete chores because something came up, so give them another chance to complete them.
If they receive an allowance, maybe their pay gets cut for choosing not to complete their chores or they lose out on not going to play with their friends. In my experience, most of the time when it gets to this point, they will try and complete their chore because kids don’t like getting something taken away.
6. Make it fun!
Let me tell you, kids are not going to want to stop playing to do chores, period-end of story. So let them know in advance when it’s “chore-time” like after dinner I will let you play then an hour before bedtime we are going to do your chores or tidy up the house. Then let them know, 30 more minutes, etc., turn off the televisions or tablets and crank up the music.
My girls love to listen to KidzBop while completing their chores or cleaning their room. My oldest likes to turn a different station on his phone put headphones on and complete his chores.
7. Lead by example.
While the kids are doing their chores, you do your chores as well. Lead by example so they don’t feel like they are being singled out to do chores and you’re just sitting there.
When setting up a chore chart system for your kids, remember this will come with some growing pains at times. Also when you are putting any sort of system in place for your kids, it’s going to take effort on your part to make sure they are doing their chores, there’s follow through and holding up the end of the bargain.
You want this to be a positive experience where they are learning responsibility and how to help care for the house they live in.
Consistency is key and I hope these tips will help you!