After succeeding at home championship of shouting match you thought that now your son will help clean the garden.
But you were wrong. And the worst part is that this result was not surprising.
The behavior of these kids! You sometimes seriously think about changing your expectations and include more chores to your own routine. After all, it is easier to walk the dog for fifteen minutes a day yourself than to keep reminding your pre-teen doing the same for half an hour. And, even the result of half an hour of nagging is not guaranteed to occur in your best interest.
Quitting seems to be the best choice for your peace of mind. But I suggest otherwise.
The benefits of not giving up on your child’s self-sufficiency are just too many to forgo.
The process of assigning chores involves communication. Yeah, I know what you are thinking. But shouting matches are a form of communication aren’t they?
This process allows them to negotiate their responsibilities and protect their time from excessive work at home.
Tip # 1
Accept their need to communicate and use this need to educate them the right method to talk. Respect and active listening will take you places. Combine it with the right dose of firmness and expectations and voila! You have a happy family with goal resolution capabilities.
Reason # 2
Chores are fun.
Well, yes. Chores can be fun if the approach is right. And that leads us to our tip # 2.
Tip # 2
Make chores fun. Find out creative ways to make them enjoyable without extrinsic rewards.
Think about doing chores and helping out as kinds of competitions. Who will gather more trash from the garden?
And you can add extrinsic rewards as one-off treats if you want.
Tip # 3
Or maybe you can include bonding and attachment time with chore time. How about turning store cleaning exercise into finding old hidden treasures?
Include them in planning, preparing, and presenting meals. Use their science knowledge and build upon it while fixing the shower.
Be available. Be willing to help without judgment. Remember the whole point is to get them to repeat the chore so many times it becomes a habit. You know, as parents we try our best to raise children with grit.
Reason # 3
Chores get them moving. And your kids need some time out of their virtual world.
Tip # 4
But dragging your kid out of their screen at chore times takes a step by step approach.
Start by communicating and scheduling the chore time in advance.
Give advance notice. To be precise, this notice should not be a request or command to start working. Rather a milder hint, such as a single word or visual clue will have the most effect.
Be present when it’s finally the time to execute the plan (well, you have to commit, at least initially).
Follow up, if you are not present to check out their progress while they are working.
Reason # 4
It helps in building their confidence.
It may appear that household chores are boring and mundane. And it is obvious that the child hates repetitive tasks of cleaning and washing. But these tasks also are important for our survival and lifestyle maintenance.
Their morale may plummet during work. But the boost in their moral which will come from benefiting from their own efforts will be paramount.
Tip # 5
Use productive feedback to show them areas of improvement and their strengths.
Appreciate their efforts and the fruits they are bearing. Point out their efforts’ impact on the areas where you (or other members of the family) felt relieved.
Allow them to feel the satisfaction of being a helping member of the household. In return, they will develop a sense of responsibility and an attitude of grit towards their part at house or in other life areas.
Document and/or celebrate.
If you are seriously considering quitting on your child’s share of household chores, please stop. You can really mess up with their interests and emotional development which depend on them taking responsibility.
Instead, you need to evolve your bossing style with time to match their communication and emotional needs appropriate to their ages.