You know you have finally reached the rank of a seasoned parent when you find yourself saying the same things to your kids over and over and over. And, if your house is anything like mine, the thing you find yourself nagging the kids most about is keeping the house clean. It seems like kids come out of the womb wanting to create chaos. No matter where they go in the house, they leave a trail of wreckage where there was once neatness and order.
All is not lost, however. There are ways of getting your children to do what you want them to do. Your days of feeling like you are up to your neck in dirty laundry and toys are over. Just read this guide and learn 10 ways parents trick their kids into doing chores.
1.Make a Game of It
Make it a challenge for your kids. If you have more than one child, have them compete against one another. See who can make up their bed or pick up all their toys the fastest. Create a chart and give them a gold star every time you see one doing their chores – the person with the most gold stars wins a prize. If you have one child, race against them to see who can clean or dust the fastest.
Create a collection of cheap toys and stickers and call it the treasure box. Tell your kids that if you see them doing their chores, and you haven’t had to beg them first, they will get a chance to pick something from the treasure box. Make the treasure box a big deal, decorate it and only pull it out when it’s reward time. Make a ceremony of having the child pick a “treasure” out of the box. And remind them, they must keep their new “treasure” neat and clean, too!
It sounds awful, but when it comes to kids, bribery gets results. Tell your kids that if they do their chores, they’ll get a special treat after dinner, a trip to the movies or a new video game. Whatever they really like, use that as a reward to get them to do their assigned chores.
4.Create a Chore Chart
Get the whole family involved by creating a chore chart. Create a list of all the different tasks that need to get done in the household. Then, assign different family members to the task. Then, when the task is completed, have the family member put a sticker next to their name on the chart. Not only does this teach little ones to be responsible members of the family, it creates variety. One week, their chore might be to clear the dishes after dinner, the next it could be to clean out the cat’s kitty litter.
5.Pick To-do Items Out of a Hat
Another way of mixing up family chores is by creating a chore hat. Cut up a bunch of slips of paper and write different chores on them. At the beginning of the week, have each member of your family pick a chore out of the hat – that will be their assigned task for the rest of the week. Of course, if you have very small kids, make sure that the chore is doable for them. Some chores may require an adult to help out. You might also want to consider making a kid’s chore hat and an adult one.
6.Just-for-them Cleaning Supplies
Kids love to imitate. One way to get them in doing household chores is by getting them supplies that are just their size. So, get them a kid-sized broom so that they can sweep while you sweep. Or, get them a little feather duster just for them so that they can “help” as you dust. You can even fill a spray bottle full of water so that they can clean along with you without having to interact with potentially deadly cleaning chemicals.
7.There’s an App for That
Kids love technology. While most parents have considered taking video games and computers away kids who slack on their chores, you can also use that same technology to encourage them to do what you want them to do. There are lots of applications available on the market for smartphones and computers that make it more attractive for kids to want to do their chores. One app allows kids to pick a chore out of a generated list and then lets them track how much progress they have made.
8.Give your Kids an Allowance
An allowance isn’t just a bribe – it’s a way of teaching your kids the value of money. Agree to pay them a set amount of money each week for certain chores. But, make sure that they know that since they are now earning money, they must now have a bank account. Help them decide how much money they should save every week, and how much they should spend. If they have a certain toy or product they’ve been wanting, help them save up their allowance to buy it themselves.
9.Turn Cleaning into a Scavenger Hunt
Hide small treats and goodies throughout the house. Let your child know that if they find the treats while they are cleaning, they can keep them. Whoever has the most treats earned by doing the most chores wins a big prize at the end of the day or week.
10.Make it a Teachable Moment
Don’t just order your child to do something; use the opportunity to teach. As you go about your chores, teach them about what you are doing and why it’s important. Tell your kids how families help each other out by working together to make the house nice. Tell them all about germs and how cleaning helps them not get sick. Explain to them that the dog needs to get plenty of exercise to feel happy and healthy, and that’s why it’s important to walk him every day.
Parenting is most certainly a challenge, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun too. Look for ways to make life fun while you’re teaching your kids the skills that they will need as an adult. They will be so happy that you did!