Motivating Kids to Help With Household Chores

Parents are often overwhelmed by work, both in and out of the home. It’s not fair for one or two family members to do all the housework, but it’s not always easy to motivate kids to help with household chores. Motivating kids to help around the house can be trying to say the least, and some parents find it easier to do the work instead of fighting to get it done. 

I must admit I was one of those parents. There were times when it was easier to complete a chore myself rather than repeatedly ask others for help. With four kids, two cats, and a husband, this arrangement had to end.

Everyone who lives in a home should do his or her part to keep it clean and tidy, so don’t do the chores for a number of people. Kids should help with tasks and chores they are capable of doing, and sometimes a little motivation is all that’s needed.

The following tips, suggestions, and ideas will help parents motivate their kids to help with household chores. Motivate your kids with praise, make it clear what’s expected of them, and with a little inspiration and a lot of perseverance, your kids will eventually want to help.

All Hands on Deck

Household chores shouldn’t be reserved just for older children. Kids as young as two or three years of age can help with household chores. Simple jobs such as emptying wastebaskets, picking up toys, caring for pets, and throwing away trash are straightforward tasks suitable for any age.

Motivate toddlers by making a nightly routine of picking up toys, and have them empty wastebaskets into a larger waste receptacle on a weekly basis. They can also help by making sure pets have water, and there are plenty of other easy jobs they can do around the home.

Issuing jobs when kids are young, and praising them for jobs well done will instill the importance of helping family members and working together. Feelings of accomplishment and the significance of cooperation will follow kids into adulthood.

Do It Right

If kids don’t complete assigned chores or tasks to your specifications, don’t make up the difference or do the work for them. This certainly won’t motivate anyone. If you do, kids will only learn that someone else will make up for their shortcomings. If an assigned chore isn’t finished or completed correctly, constructively point out what has been missed, and insist that it’s done right. Motivate your kids by thanking, rewarding, and praising them for a job well done.

No Discrimination

Don’t make the mistake of assigning gender-specific jobs to kids. This isn’t fair by any means, and you certainly won’t motivate your kids with disparity. Boys as well as girls can wash dishes, and girls are capable of mowing the lawn. Equality should begin at home, so make it clear that jobs will be assigned equally, and not based on gender.

Watch and Learn

If you want your kids to do the job right, take the time to show them the way you want it done. Don’t assume they’ve watched you do a specific task. Work with your kids, and go over the job step-by-step to make certain they understand. Demonstrate and educate before you motivate, and you’ll help your kids complete household chores and learn lessons that will last a lifetime.