Asking children to complete chores in order to create a smooth-running household is something that both parents and nannies can do, but it isn’t always easy to convince kids to help with the housework.
As children tend to have no idea how much work is required to keep the home looking nice and want to be doing things which they find fun which often doesn’t include tidying or cleaning, it can be that you feel guilty about asking them to help out and take time away from other activities.
However, helping with chores has been found to give children higher self-esteem and make them more responsible, plus it gives them life skills which you know they will be grateful for when they get older and need to start looking after themselves and their own home.
Doing chores as a family and working together can help you to build a bond and create a connection between everyone, which can be difficult to achieve when there are lots of busy schedules to contend with, so it is worth getting the whole family involved for this reason alone.
We have put together some tips for doing chores as a family which we hope will encourage the children in your care to help around the house without needing too much persuasion.
Start with small tasks
No matter how old your children are, when you start to give them chores it is always better to let them start with small tasks and then work up to the more time-consuming or intense ones.
The best way to do this is to make a list of the chores that need completing around the house and then mark which ones each child would physically be able to do. You can then talk to them about these and see what they might like to take on, as they are far more likely to cooperate if they are involved in the decision-making process.
Create a chore plan
Once you have come to a decision about who will be completing which chores you should put these into a chore plan so everyone knows what they need to do and when. This can be revised as necessary, but it means that no-one can say that they didn’t know what they were supposed to be doing.
You might also like to link this with pocket money or rewards so that when certain tasks have been ticked off each week the kids can earn money or prizes, which is sure to motivate them further. Some families prefer to keep pocket money and chores separate, so if you would prefer to do this that is completely fine.
Anticipate issues and plan for them
There are very few people who can say that they enjoy doing chores, and the children in your care will feel no different. This means that there are likely to be issues such as chores not being completed properly, on time, or even at all, and you may face an argument or two.
To overcome this, you should decide in advance what you will do should these issues arise, such as reducing pocket money or taking away favourite toys etc., so that you are not caught off guard and know exactly how to handle to situation.
Be a great role model
If the children in your care see you taking on chores with motivation and determination, they are far more likely to approach them in the same way than if it is obvious that you resent doing them and would rather be doing anything else.
Try to make chores into a competition or a challenge so they are a bit more fun and ensure that you are all being patient when completing your chores, so that they are completed to a high standard and none of you are rushing them to finish quicker.
By following these tips for doing chores as a family you are all sure to benefit from completing these household tasks together, even if some members of the family don’t agree with this straight away.
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