How to make chores a joy and stress free for your children
Chores can be a nightmare in most households for both parents and children. The uphill battle when giving your children tasks to carry out usually follows the same pattern of asking nicely; explaining why said chore is necessary; threatening and then eventually either begging, bribing or saying “bugger it, I will do it myself!”
Believe it or not, it does not have to be this way. I know it may sound like crazy talk, especially to those parents of young children who still need to know why, how and what’s the point; but it can be done. Read on as we share some pretty valuable tips on how to make chores fun and stress free.
Turn on some Music
Create a relaxed atmosphere so that chores do not feel so much like “chores”. Turn on the radio or play your children’s favourite songs (this works especially well if they are still young and have certain TV show theme songs and CD’s to listen to), and have a bit of a dance and a laugh as chores are being done. When the environment is less strict and more light-hearted, getting tasks done can be a quick and easy breeze.
Award a Prize
If you have more than one child this is a great technique to use. Split the chore list between your children and make it a competition as to who can finish their chores the fastest. Award a prize, such as a favourite sweet treat or a trip for ice cream or an extra half hour of TV tonight when the other kids go to bed. When there is incentive there is motive and that can be a truly brilliant thing.
Let’s face it, doing the same thing time and again can become very boring, and there is no difference when it comes to household tasks. No child wants to take the trash out every single day or do nothing other than pick up all the toys. Avoid the stress and frustration of facing the same mundane chore over and over, by switching up the chore chart and having your children do different things each week. Rotate the tasks between your children and that will help to overcome boredom and complaints.
Use this Time to Share and Enjoy your children
By making this time family orientated, you will not only be able to get the work done, but enjoy time with your children as well. If you are doing chores in the afternoon have each child share about their day and you will find yourself laughing at funny anecdotes and stories while you work, making the tasks themselves seem a lot less effort.
Play Simon Says
This is a great way to turn housework into a fun filled experience that will have you and the kids rolling on the floor giggling. Have each child make a rule for each task, such as “you can only do your task with your feet,” or “you are not allowed to use your left hand when washing the dishes”. This can prove to be a worthy distraction from the actual task at hand and will allow your children to be creative and tease each other in a playful, healthy manner.
From a young age, ensure that your children are made aware of the fact that their contribution is worthy and notable in your family. Make them feel important and that they are contributing to the overall well being of your home, with the tasks they are completing. Even if they are as young as the ages of 2 or 3, having your children complete little tasks such as wiping their table down or putting their dishes in the dishwasher, ensure that your children are applauded from the get go. Telling them that they are “very grown up” and “really helping out’ is a sure way to encourage growth and self confidence as well as responsibility.
Sneak in some Surprises
One of the best ways to make chore time exciting is to hide a few treats and surprises away for your children to discover. If your son or daughter is going to clean the bathroom, hide a small chocolate bar or a new toy under the towel on the floor that they have to put into the washing basket. There are so many options for hiding treats, such as on top of the dishwasher that they need to unpack or inside the toy cupboard that they have to sort out and tidy up.
Earn that Allowance
Growing up you had to earn your allowance by helping out at home. Why should things be any different now? Earning your pocket money is a tried and tested way to ensure that your children will get their tasks done. As a member of the family, each child has to bring their share and help out in order to keep things running smoothly. Explain to your children that you work very hard to take care of them and that each family member needs to help out for everything to work.