“I don’t wanna clean my roooooom,” says a whiny voice. Getting kids to do their chores can be a chore all on its own. Yet, although it may be easier to just do everything yourself around the house, that doesn’t send them the best message, either. Children gain a lot from being active participants in the household.
Why You Should Expect Your Child to Do Chores
There are many lessons to be learned from helping out around the house. Children learn responsibility, basic life skills, time management and how to get along with others. These are important skills that will serve them their whole lives.
However, you’ll never believe it, but having your kids do chores will make them happier and healthier in general. Why? Research shows that when kids participate more in helping out around the house, they report higher levels of happiness. So, even if they’re not gushing about how much they enjoy their household chores, actively contributing to family life through chores will have an overall positive effect.
Getting Kids to Love Chores
Yes, research shows that kids that do chores are happier, but maybe you’re not seeing the proof in your home? Children may not always be thrilled about their chores, and may even whine and complain about them. This can make it quite unpleasant to ensure that chores are being completed.
While your children may not always be skipping off to complete their chores, there are a few things you can do to make chores more enjoyable:
1. Start Young
Even if your kids are as young as 2 or 3, it’s not too early to begin introducing the idea of chores. By starting young, you’ll set an expectation that will be easier to continue to hold throughout childhood. When your children are young, you can easily include them in chores by encouraging them to help wash dishes, clean the bathroom, sweep, cook with you, and more!
The great thing about this age is that children actually want to participate. They may be begging you to chop tomatoes or get their hands into the sudsy sink of dishes. So, don’t hold them back, find a way that they can participate safely!
The one task that may be their full responsibility is cleaning up their toys or keeping their room tidy. At this age, you can help out some, but slowly pass off the responsibility to your child.
2. Finish the List
Motivate your child to complete their chores by offering them task lists. Make a new one each day, or use one for the week, depending on the age of your child. With a task list, you’ll help your child organize their responsibilities and also provide a satisfying opportunity for your child to check each task off once its completed.
Picniic offers a to-do list feature that you can use to share tasks with everyone in the family! By using Picniic, you’ll be able to see everyone’s task lists at once and easily see when tasks have been completed.
3. Chore Party!
Turn up the music because it’s chore time! Doing household chores as a family can create a festive feel that makes completing boring cleaning tasks much more fun. Designate a day and time to take care of basic cleaning tasks such as cleaning bathrooms, sweeping, vacuuming and mopping floors, tidying up, dusting, doing laundry, etc. Then, divide up the chores, put some music on and challenge everyone to finish their chores within an hour. Once you’re done, enjoy a family lunch or snack together!
Organize your weekly chore party through Picniic’s shared calendar that allows all family members to see what’s on the schedule. You can also use task lists to set the agenda for the chore party. Either assign the tasks ahead of time or play rock paper scissors to decide who gets to pick their favorite chore first.
4. Change it Up
Don’t forget that variety is the spice of life, and that’s true with chores as well. It can be boring to complete the same task week after week. Shaking up the schedule will not only keep your kids interested, but it will help them learn new skills. Aside from basic cleaning tasks, remember to include washing the car, cooking and shopping on your list of chores.
Older children may be able to help come up with shopping lists by checking the kitchen and pantry for essential items. They can also help with meal planning, which will help determine the grocery list. Use Picniic’s grocery and shopping lists so that your kids can reference previous week’s lists when making up a new one.
5. Talk About It
Organize a family meeting so that you can discuss the family chore routine. This will give your kids an opportunity to talk about their feelings and experiences in a safe space. During this meeting, that you can organize through Picniic’s shared calendar, you can even assign chores, make a family meal plan together and discuss things like grocery lists (anyone have something to add or remove?), task lists (who completed their whole list?), and more!
During your family meeting, you could even come up with a fun way to assign chores. Choose task slips from a bowl (no peeking!), designate a leader each week who will assign the chores, or play games to determine who will get to pick from the list of chores first.
These regular meetings will give your kids the chance to feel involved in the chore assignment process, which will in turn help improve their attitude towards completing chores.
Household chores are an essential part of keeping your home running smoothly. Although it may take some creativity and bit of extra effort to make sure that your children participate, the long-term benefits are well worth it. And, whether they show it or not, your child will feel happier as a contributing member of the household.
So, break out your to-do lists and take care of your household chores as a family unit, children included!