How to tackle chores with your child

February 10, 2016

Clean up, everybody, everywhere. It's time to get your kids enthused about helping you tidy around the house. Though it's impossible for your house to stay pristine, at least while your kids are still young, there are ways to keep it a bit more organized. You're not a superhero and it's hard to do it all yourself, so invite your kids along to join in on the fun.

Here's how to tackle chores with your children without the messy fuss:

Assign a role
Avoid nagging or begging your child to complete chores and instead create a specified role for your child to take on. You can reinforce responsibility with your child by assigning chores to him or her as early as three years old, Parents magazine recommends. Introducing your child to household duties, while he or she is young, will go a long way

"Assign each family member with certain tasks to accomplish every week."

Assign each family member certain tasks to accomplish every week, like for example your toddler helping to put napkins at each place at the dinner table or having your seven-year-old put the trash in the can in the garage. When your child is included in the whole family dynamic, he or she will more likely be interested and feel included and understand that help is needed and appreciated, according to Parents magazine. 

"When cleaning and picking up is part of the expectations you establish within the family, kids catch on quickly and accept that they are an important part of making the household run smoothly and neatly," mentions Andrea Reiser, a parenting blogger for Parents magazine.

Implement purpose
When your child starts contributing to household duties, he or she will develop an understanding as to why it's important to keep the house clean and organized. Your child will be exposed to discipline and success as well as a sense of purpose while contributing his or her part to the family household. Your little one may grasp this concept and have a different outlook on cleanliness and maybe result in a different mindset, like thinking twice before dumping out all the crayons in the box onto the floor to avoid having to clean it up later. Your child will start to discover and figure out the significance of responsibilities, PBS Parents mentions.

Doing chores with your little one doesn't have to be boring.Doing chores with your little one doesn't have to be boring.

Specify the rules
Clearly state what chores or tasks you would like your little one to help you with or do on his or her own. Steer away from broad phrases like "clean the toy room" and instead, specifically tell your child to put away the blocks in the bin, PBS Parents recommends. When you break it down into simpler terms, your child will be able to understand what is being asked and focus on accomplishing one main thing instead of a bunch of little things.

Also, set up a list of daily or weekly reminders of the duties or tasks assigned to each member of the family, so everyone starts implementing this routine. Enforcing these steady duties will be beneficial and go a long way in life and plant a notion for responsibility for the future.

Dance you way through it
Who doesn't enjoy a dance party? Turn that boring hour of chores into a fun and dynamic one and let the time pass as you pull out your best moves and get that living room organized. Play music through your speakers and choose songs that you and your child love to listen to and sing along. Parents magazine recommends incorporating the music into a game to get the kids more engaged. For example, test how fast your child can put away all the stuffed animals before the next song comes on. It will be challenging and fun for both of you.

Give an incentive
Set a reward and incentive from the get-go, so your child has something to look forward to while making the bed and putting the dirty clothes in the laundry room, PBS Parents acknowledges. Though, you should teach your child to willingly volunteer to clean up, every once in a while you should reward your little one for motivation and to get it done without hesitation. For example, on Sunday explain that if he or she makes the bed every morning in the next week, you'll go on a movie date next week. 

When your kids are old enough, you can start devising a plan with a list of chores to do for each member of your family. When the chores are completed, you can figure out if you'd like start giving your child allowance on a weekly or monthly basis.

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