Motivating children to pitch in with the housework isn’t always the easiest task but there are many ways in which you can prompt children to take responsibility – and they don’t all involve bribes! If you want to teach your children how to help around the house, consider the following:
It makes more sense for the child to help with something that is personal e.g. cleaning their own room rather than a sibling’s room. The reward is a greater sense of satisfaction – and a lovely tidy room!
Customize cleaning props
Kids love having their own items. It’s worth buying children’s buckets and brightly coloured cleaning cloths. Think about purchasing brooms or mops with adjustable length handles, and even adding stickers to items. When it comes to ‘big’ tasks like cleaning cars, pressure washers from Tesco may work effectively, but please remember they are not to be used with children. Instead, get your child to join in with a large bucket and novelty sponge.
Different chores for different ages
There’s nothing more de-motivating than struggling to complete a chore – so divide chores into age groups. 5 year olds can help with setting the table or carrying light washing loads; 10 year olds can fold clothes and help put groceries away. Young teens can strip beds, clean bathrooms or wash floors; older teenagers can mow the lawn and wash the car.
Set an early routine and rotate chores
Creating a set time for chores will help kids adjust to a routine – and it’s best to make it earlier when children have more energy, leaving the day clear for activities. Rotating chores will help maintain variety – and motivation!
Make chores visual and chart their progressYoung children respond to visuals – so create and display a task chart with reward stickers. Or use an app to chart progress for older children. There’s a great sense of satisfaction making progress so visual!
Foster a great atmosphere
Don’t forget to keep the atmosphere upbeat – play music and keep praising children. This will help children form positive associations with housework.
Make good use of storage
Excellent and easy storage makes household chores much easier for younger children. Labelled boxes are helpful sign posts. Putting things into the right box builds children’s confidence too.
Allow more responsibility
As children get older, encourage them to take more responsibility in the house. For instance, teenagers who are responsible for unloading groceries or washing up could prepare the family meal once a week. This is also an excellent way to build self-esteem and confidence.
Once you’ve mastered some of the above, you will hopefully find that asking children to help with the housework isn’t such a chore in itself!