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How to Get Your Kids to Start Doing Chores Today

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Chores for kids… it has such a nice ring to it. And, oh the many plans I’ve tried to get my children to do their chores. I’ve used charts. I’ve used dry erase boards. I’ve used the stern approach and the “let’s make it fun!” approach. But most days the chores went undone… until now.

Yes, I finally found a starting point for getting my children to actually do their chores. For me, it boiled down to one thing. Let me show you how to get your kids to start doing their chores today.

Start with one chore.

This is the biggie. By giving my children only one chore I gave them the biggest chance for success. I kept it very simple. I have a wall calendar hanging in my kitchen and on the left-hand side for each week I wrote a K and an L. K is for kitchen and L is for laundry. Then I wrote the initial of each child three days in a row. So my daughter has kitchen for three days and then laundry for three days.

Now my children can’t argue about whose turn it is to clean the kitchen or fold clothes. If they do I just say, “Look at the calendar.” Eventually, I’ll add other weekly chores.

Work with them the first time.

When my son had kitchen duty the first time I showed him how to add the dishwasher detergent, how to wipe down the counters, and how to run the sweeper.

Put them in charge.

Once you’ve shown your kids how to do their chores let them take ownership. Don’t come behind them and redo what they’ve done — at least don’t let them see you do that. Encourage independence, even if your children are still toddlers.

Have consequences and rewards.

Before you start your new chore duties come up with consequences for not doing chores — loss of screen time, having to do their sibling’s chores, or going to bed early. You’ll also want to come up with rewards for doing chores, especially if they do their chores days in a row. Make three days in a row the first goal, then increase it until they can do their chores for a week without missing a day.

Praise, praise, praise.

Tell them they’re doing a great job. Thank them for being such a great family team member. Then, every once in a while, do their chore for them, just to be nice. Or if they’ve had a hard day at school or have a lot of homework, be an example of loving kindness and give them a chore pass.

How do you get your kids to do their chores?


Why do you think kids should help with chores?

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