It’s never too early to start teaching our kids to help out around the house. The earlier we start, the more we can be assured that they will take these healthy and productive habits with them in their adulthood. Teaching them how to do chores in their formative years will help them grow more independently. It can make them feel like they’re contributing to the greater good of the family and prepare them for the day they have to move out of your home and into a college dorm room.
One way to get kids excited about chores is by making it fun for them, and there are plenty of ways to do that. Here are some tips to get your kids to want to help out around the house.
Assign chores according to their strengths and interests
Chores are annoying because we often do them out of obligation and duty, not delight. Get around this by assigning chores according to your children’s interests, hobbies, and strengths. Here are some examples:
- For kids who love food and cooking: Bring them with you to the supermarket. Teach them tips and tricks for choosing the best vegetables and fruits and the brands that will give you the most bang for your buck. While you’re at it, teach them about what kind of marbling indicates the highest quality of meat. Your kid who could not care less about food and cooking might find all this information boring, but for your one child who’s interested? It will be a game-changer.
- For kids who love cars and road trips: Bring them with you to the car wash, so they can see how it’s done, and eventually, you can do it in your garage together. Teach them the basics of auto detailing-what purpose waxing serves and why cars need to be cleaned every two weeks.
- For your kids who love cleaning, music, and dancing: Blast some of their favorite songs on your home’s main speakers and invite them to do some cleaning. They might find it cheesy, but you can invite them to do some dancing while you wipe down some windows and scrub some floors. Some kids prefer clean spaces more than others, so make sure to invite your cleanest child to join you in the tidying up.
- For kids who love watching things grow: Taking care of the garden is your best bet. Teach them how to remove harmful weeds, plant some veggies, and cultivate the soil. Your most nurturing kid can also be in charge of bathing the dog.
Let them experience the rewards of hard work
Another way to make chores fun is by promising rewards for every task they finish. Studies show that a rewards system works for kids when done correctly. Here are some tips for properly enforcing rewards for your kids every time they lend a helping hand:
- Use points. Keep tabs on their progress through a kid-friendly spreadsheet, so they can also monitor how they’ve been doing. You can also add bonus points by spontaneously rewarding them for things they do that they don’t even know are good, like being patient with their siblings or when they color quietly. Do not deprive them of positive re-enforcement whenever you can.
- Give rewards for effort. The rewards are not so much because they do something right; it’s all about the condition of their hearts while doing it. So even if they fail or struggle, as long as they did their best, that’s still a good reason to reward them.
Get them invested in how your home is maintained
Its never too early to get your kids interested in home maintenance and even architecture and interior design. If there’s anything in your home that needs repairing, like the plumbing problems, invite your kids to watch and patiently explain how the pipes work and why you always have clean and running water in your home. If anything needs painting, show them the swatches of different color paints you’re considering, and teach them why certain colors look better than others. Your kids who love art and drawing might enjoy that particular activity. When your kids see how much work it takes to keep your home beautiful, they might be more inclined to be involved in helping out around the house.
It’s easier to teach boys and girls how to care for their homes than it is to get men and women to start picking up after themselves. Start your kids young and watch them become the most responsible adults in the future.