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How to Get Your Children to Help with Household Chores

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Having trouble getting your kids to help out around the house? Convincing children to tear themselves away from their toys, the television, or other more stimulating activities to take out the trash or do the laundry can often be a daunting task. 

If you are beginning to feel like a nagging broken record, these tips will help you encourage your children to pitch in with household chores without even being asked -- whether it's keeping that new floor in your new house clean, or helping out with tasks in a household you're already settled into.

Don’t make chores punishment

If your child misbehaves, refrain from using an assigned chore as a reprimand for disobedience. Associating chores with negativity will create resentment in your child and cause him or her to relate unpleasant emotions with the task in the future. Chores should be seen as necessary contributions to the household performed by every family member equally—not miserable and despised work forced on your child for bad behavior.

Provide incentives

Using positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage children to pitch in around the home. While you may not think your child should be rewarded for contributing to household tasks, a little incentive can go a long way. A small allowance or a slightly later bed time can be enough to get your child to stop dragging his or feet and get the chores done promptly. Avoid using negative reinforcement, such as telling your child he or she cannot go on a scheduled trip or threatening to take away a favorite toy.

You can also set goals and make doing the chores a little more stimulating by challenging your child. This can work well with incentives—if your child gets the chore done in a specified amount of time, for example, they will receive a reward.

Set aside time for chores

Keeping your children on a schedule for chores can make it easier for them to remember to do their assigned tasks without being reminded. Designate chore time before recreation time-for example, immediately after school or right after breakfast on weekends and during the summer. This way, your child does not have to stop indulging in a fun activity to complete a mundane task-rather, the chore must be completed before the fun can begin.
This is especially effective if you have more than one child-if they are all performing household tasks together, there will be no jealousy when one child is playing video games and the other doing laundry.

If you've recently moved into a new home, this is a great way to get your kids used to the new place by sticking with a familiar routine. 

Find out what chores they enjoy

Doing chores does not always have to be cruel and unusual torture. Perhaps there are certain household tasks that interest your child. Ask him what chores he prefers doing to make helping out a little more enjoyable. Does he love to be outside? Have him help with yard work, outside clean-up, or taking out the trash. Does he enjoy cooking? Ask him to help with dinner, set the table, or pitch in with the dishes. Does he enjoy vacuuming? Making the beds? Even doing laundry?

If you have multiple children, it could be difficult dividing the work if they prefer the same chores. Rotating responsibilities by the week can help make sure no one is constantly stuck doing their most despised tasks.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on July 11, 2014

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