Making your kid help with chores or housework is important as it builds character and can help shape their personality and sense of responsibility. Julie Lythcott-Haims, the author of How To Raise An Adult says: “By making [kids] do chores— taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry—they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life. It’s not just about me and what I need in this moment, but that I’m part of an ecosystem. I’m part of a family. I’m part of a workplace.” But how do you get them to do so? Read on:
1. Start young
Notice how your younger children often want to do what you do, or find a way to make himself or herself around the house? Instead of shooing them out of the kitchen or batting their hands away to do the chore yourself, allow them to help. This will instill in them good habits.
2. Don’t micromanage
Naturally, your very young child (we’re not talking about teens) most probably won’t be able to meet your expectations when it comes to certain housework such as mopping the floor or cleaning the windows. But what matters is their initiative in doing so. You can give some helpful pointers, but don’t micromanage them or it will suck the fun out of whatever it is they are doing. You need to ask yourself what matters at this point in time and at their age: getting it done, or getting it done your way.
3. Work for a reward
Once your kids are slightly older, if they would like something on the pricier end, tell them that if they go above and beyond for a chore, or if they volunteer to do something that usually isn’t in their chore scope – they’ll earn extra allowance. This will also teach them a valuable lesson that they should work hard for what they want and that hard work does pay off.
4. Ask for help
If your child is older (usually around their teen years) – involve them in larger projects such as assembling IKEA furniture or reorganise the store room. Don’t just sit back and bark your orders though – they need to realise it’s a family effort. Also, phrase it in a more positive way by telling them: “I need your help”. This will give them more incentive to want to pitch in and won’t be perceived as them being forced into something.