Kids would always rather play than help out with household chores. They just don't seem to experience the same comfort in knowing that the house is clean that adults do. But children should do chores, as it can help them to acquire a sense of responsibility. Children as young as 2 years old can help with chores, and often, they'll feel good about doing so because they'll be contributing to the family in a way that makes them feel needed. But to get kids involved in chores, you'll need to start by finding a way to make doing chores seem more appealing.
A coupon chore chart or book is a simple yet creative way to encourage kids to help with chores. It allows you and your family to easily keep track of household duties that need to be done. These charts allow children to easily see what they've finished and what they still need to do, and coupling that with a reward system can make doing chores a lot more fun.
Set Up a Chore Chart
There are hundreds of different chore charts online, so there's no shortage of options when you're setting up yours. Try to keep your chart as simple as possible so that kids can understand it easily. Format your chart in a way that makes it clear what the kids need to do and what they can earn by doing it, such as coupons they can redeem for different rewards.
Consider Each Child's Age
When assigning chores to children, think carefully about their abilities. The responsibilities and the difficulties of these tasks should increase with their age. Toddlers might be given simple tasks like picking up their toys or feeding pets with the help of an older sibling; at this age, you're just getting them familiar with the chart and with the idea that helping out around the house is expected. Older kids can be given tasks that involve greater responsibility, like folding the laundry or mowing the lawn.
Post the Chore Chart for Everyone to See
Once you've created your chore chart, hang it up in a spot where everyone can see it. Throughout the day, kids may need to refer to the chart to see what they need to do or mark off completed tasks. Giving them colorful markers or stickers to check off their chores can make the chore chart more appealing and motivate children to be more consistent about doing their chores.
Regardless of the children's ages, it's a good idea to run through each task on the chore chart with them and outline what is expected. But once you're clear about what they need to do, don't hover: Let them complete the tasks on their own, then step in to make any necessary adjustments and give feedback when they're done. Mistakes will happen, but they'll learn and become more independent and responsible over time.
Decide on a Rewards System
Rewards are a great way to motivate children to complete their chores, but they're not always necessary. Younger children can often be motivated with words of encouragement and praise. Older kids may need a little more motivation. Rewards should be given on a weekly or monthly basis, so the children won't expect to constantly be rewarded. As mentioned previously, giving out coupons is also a fun way to reward that can be redeemed later when a child sees something they want as a reward. Rewards could include stickers, money, extra screen time, or a special prize like a dinner out or a trip to the movies.
Switch Up the Chores
From time to time, swap chores between family members to keep everyone from getting bored with doing the same jobs over and over. This can also be a good way to handle a chore that nobody likes doing; it's easier to do a chore you don't like if you know you won't have to do it all the time. Allowing kids to discuss which chores they want to do and have a say in the tasks they're given can make them feel more involved and more inclined to do their chores.
Turn Chores Into a Game
At first, kids may resist doing their chores, so you may need to incorporate a little fun to make their tasks more appealing. Simple things like tossing stuffed animals into a bin as part of a game ("First person to 10 points wins!") or sweeping the floor while dancing to music can make cleaning up the house more fun.
Fun Chores and Activities to Keep Kids Busy
Here’s more resources to help you on your quest for the balance between fun and getting your child to help with chores: