Welcome to my weekly post where I answer one of your questions you’ve submitted. This week’s question is on how to get your kids to help around the house. Here are five strategies that have worked for us…
“How do you get your kids to help around the house?”
This is a question multiple people asked when I shared pictures and videos of our family working together to declutter last week.
Honestly, I had to think about that one for a bit because it feels like it’s been so long since it’s something we’ve worked on intentionally — it just sort of happens now that our three oldest are almost 15, 12, and 10.
But in the earlier years, here were some things that I feel helped pay a good foundation:
1. Model It.
Don’t just ask your kids to help or work; set an example for them of a strong work ethic. “More is caught than taught.”
2. Teach It.
Don’t expect your kids to just automatically know what “clean your room” or “do the dishes” or “sweep the floor” means. Take the time to really show them how to do it — and give them lots of grace and patience in the learning process.
I give a lot of practical ideas for this in my post on How to Get Your Kids to Stop Whining and Help with Chores.
3. Inspect It.
Follow up after you’ve given a task to make sure it was completed and done well. Oftentimes, this has helped me realize areas where I still need to go back and do some more hands-on teaching.
4. Expect It.
“We all work together to make our home run. Everyone is an asset.”
This is one of our family mantras and it’s something we often remind ours kids about.
Need some age-appropriate chore ideas? Check out this post with some chore ideas for kids of different ages. (Keep in mind, though, that each child is different. What might be simple for one 4-year-old, could be utterly overwhelming to another.)
5. Praise It.
It’s easy to focus on what our kids are doing wrong, where they’ve missed the mark, or where they need to improve. But I think it’s important to make sure we’re praising 10 times more than we are correcting.
I talk more about the importance of this in my post on How to Get Your Kids to Help With Chores More Willingly.
6. Reward It.
We all work hard, but we also play hard, too. For instance, we did fun things together last week when the decluttering was done.
I often tell the kids, “When we get this work done, then we’ll do xyz (something fun)!” It inspires and motivates all of us (including me!) to finish the work so we can enjoy something fun together.
How do you encourage your kids to help? What has worked well for your family?
P.S. Have a question you’d love for me to answer in a future Q&A post? Send me an email through the contact form here.
I call things a “party” when we have a bigger project to do. Think–mountain of laundry = family laundry party. We take turns picking our favorite song, and we play music while folding clothes. My kids are young and have a lot of energy, so sometimes they fold one thing of theirs; go quickly to put it away; come back to fold and put away the next piece of clothing. Sometimes they complain when I first say, “Laundry party!” But they perk up as soon as the music starts. 😀
Crystal Paine says
I LOVE this! Thank you for sharing!
That’s a great idea! -Jordan, MSM Team
Jo (A Rose Tinted World) says
Some great tips here. My little one is only four, but already we have some rules in place: She knows to tidy one toy/game up before opening another, and how to put things back in their alloted places. Every little helps. Will definitely keep your tips in mind for the future!
Crystal Paine says
Thanks so much for sharing!! Great ideas!
Wow! That’s great that she is already helping so much! -Jordan, MSM Team