How do your children help with chores?

Happy Monday friends! My weekend was a blur of activities which kept me from accomplishing two of my most important home maintenance tasks – grocery shopping and returning widgets back to their rightful place (not to be confused with cleaning).

The latter being a big deal because I don’t like to start the week with visual messiness around the house. It throws me off my productivity and adds mental stress. Also, no one likes to be asked every 5-minutes where something is, unless you work in a store and are being paid for it I guess. Yet here I am. Not to worry though. It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. I’ll survive just fine.

But while I am on the topic of household cleanliness, I wanted to share Chores and Children from Psychology Today. It is just one of the many research based articles that shares why it is a good idea to get children to regularly help with household chores. And in case you are wondering how to do that effectively, here are 5 takeaways that have helped me. I quote,

  • Too often, attempts to get kids involved in chores take the form of angry demands. These might get some immediate action, but the effects won’t last. Harsh scolding from a frustrated parent certainly won’t get children to embrace their role as valuable contributors to a smoothly running household. No healthy child is going to accept the message, “I’m suffering, so you should, too!”
  • No one knows automatically how to do housework; we need to learn. Doing chores with your child allows you to offer appropriate guidance and help. Give lots of positive feedback … Working alongside you not only helps children develop skills, it also makes chores seem more tolerable. If all or at least several family members are pitching in at the same time, your child is less likely to feel individually persecuted by housework.
  • Chores can become habits when we do them at the same time every day or every weekBe matter-of-fact, rather than demanding, as you establish habits. “It’s Wednesday night. Dirty clothes need to go in the laundry.” After awhile, these behaviors will become automatic, although kids will occasionally have temporary backslides.
  • Kids are more willing to repeat a short burst of tidying than a long marathon of cleaning … One of the most important things you can do to make chores feel manageable is to get rid of clutter.
  • Put on lively music. Let your children use cleaning tools they enjoy. A feather duster, spray bottle, canister vacuum, or sink full of soap suds seem ordinary to adults, but for kids they can be fun. If your attitude while doing the chores is light-hearted, your child will be more willing to participate. 

Asha (8), Arjun (6), and Ajay (days away from turning 4), all help around the house everyday. Beside making their beds and picking up their toys, they are also in charge of emptying the dishwasher on their designated day, and folding their clean clothes from the laundry and putting them away.

With the boys, the quality of their tasks is sometimes questionable given their age – as you can see from the picture of my silverware drawer after a recent emptying of the dishwasher by Ajay. And folding clothes is definitely tricky for all three, but they do it as best as they can, and I have learned to live with balled up clothes in their shelves as opposed to perfect stacks (overrated anyway).

However it gets done, it thrills me to no end that I didn’t have to do it! = )

So friends, I’d love to hear how chores and children interact in your households. Do you have any special tricks or recommendations?

Featured Image via Unsplash

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