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Middle Childhood » Discipline and Guidance

How to Motivate Your Child to Help With Chores

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There’s no sure fire way to get children to want to help around he house. But here are some suggestions to help parents develop a system of shared home management responsibilities:

§  You may want to start by getting everyone around the dining room table for a discussion about what jobs need to be done, which ones are the most disliked, and how each person can share in family chores. Make a list and include the children’s ideas.

§  Each family member can be responsible for personal things. Beyond that, you’ll have to decide who will do what jobs. Try to involve everyone in a plan of dividing up chores and assigning them fairly. Avoid separating jobs into male/female tasks. Explain that everyone needs to learn a variety of household management skills.

§  At the family meeting, stress the importance of each family member’s being organized to prevent work whenever possible. Show children how some tasks can be consolidated. For example, children can set the table for breakfast while putting away the supper dishes. Make your home user friendly. Try to eliminate the chaos that makes it appear it would be nearly impossible to get things straightened up.

§  Children may need to learn how to operate some household equipment (running the vacuum sweeper, for example) or how to do some chores in an orderly way. Work with children until they can do it satisfactorily and encourage them as they learn. When they’ve done the job well, be generous with compliments.

Ask Dr. Susan