Let’s face it; the satisfaction of getting the dishes done is not a very big reward in this day and age of Xboxes, iPads and other modes of instant gratification.
The word “chore” in itself is gloomy. I prefer the word skill. Keeping a house is a skill. Preparing nutritious meals, doing the laundry – these are skills that children need to learn and it should be every parent’s goal to help their children understand that some jobs must be done whether you feel like it or not. So, how do you start?
- Don’t expect too much
Do not expect perfection. You are teaching your child. Whatever the task, you will be doing it again soon; such is the very nature of chores. Keep yourself from redoing what your child has done. Allow your kids to value the joy of a task completed by their own hands, at their own level of ability.
- Make it fun
As a parent, you influence the way your kids view things. Turn it into something fun. I read somewhere that one parent created a red cape to be worn solely by the child who had “trash detail” (emptying bins and putting in clean liners). He put on the cape and became “Trash Man”. Very motivating!
- Reward the effort
Your child’s allowance can tie into their chores and to their associated behaviour. Example, if your child has to be told more than once to do his chore, he would lose a certain part of his allowance.
- Don’t turn chores into punishment
If somebody misbehaves, don’t give them a consequence of doing the dishes, for example. The only time that’s appropriate is if your child does something wrong to another sibling. And so in order to make amends – in order to right the wrong – they do that person’s chore for them.
- Stick to a structure
Structure is very important when it comes to completing household tasks. There should be set times to do chores, in the evening or in the morning, for example.
By Tivania Moodley