Getting Kids to Do Chores

Almost every parent has at some point struggled with getting their kids to do chores. How can you get your kids to not only do their chores, but do it willingly – Without you having to nag them? Yes, it is possible – Here’s how.

Have Your Kids Design the Chore System

Instead of having a “this is what needs to be done and I’m telling you to do it” system with your kids, it’s much more productive to have a “we are a family and we figure things out together” type of system.

If your kids actually come up with the chore systems that they like and agree to, they’re much more likely to actually follow it.

For example, if you want them to rake the leaves every Tuesday, they might say something like “I don’t like raking, but I’ll do it if I can watch SpongeBob before church on Sunday.” If it’s their idea, they will most likely follow through.

Make it a Game

Another great way to get your kids to do chores is to make a game out of it.

For example, you can make it a race. You do half the garden, they do the other half. One sibling does half the dishes, the other does the other half. Whoever finishes first wins.

The reason kids don’t like to do chores is because it isn’t fun and kids want to have fun. If you can make chores fun by adding an element of game to it, they’ll not only do their chores by enjoy it too.

Do Chores At the Same Time

Kids often don’t understand the concept of a job. They don’t really understand how hard you’re working for your family. They often don’t understand that you’re already putting in 40 hours of work a week so they can live the life they live.

Instead, when kids hear their parents telling them to do their chores, it seems to them like you’re asking them to do things without doing them yourself.

That’s why it’s often useful to do things at the same time with your kids. For example, if you tell your kid that it’s time to do some work on the house, that you’re gonna do the dishes and he can do the laundry and you’ll race.

If your child gets the sense that he’s not being bossed around, but that you’re both doing what needs to be done in the house together, they’ll object a lot less.

Affection vs. Nagging

If you’re having trouble getting your child to do his or her chores, it can be very easy to fall into nagging or complaining to your child. Parents often underestimate how much this really hurts their kids.

It’s actually a vicious cycle. Nobody wants to do what they’re told when they’re being nagged and criticized at.

On the other hand, when asked to do something by someone who loves us and shows affection towards us, most of us would feel very inclined to agree.

As counter intuitive as it may seem, showing love towards your child is a more effective way to get them to do their chores than nagging or criticism. Be affectionate yet firm – Make sure your child knows what’s OK and what’s not OK, but that they’re loved no matter what.