Teaching Kids Resonsibility – Chores for Children

Children should be able to keep their rooms clean and take out the garbage. If you have preteens, say from the ages of twelve to fifteen, chore time can escalate into arguments and end with grounding. Why is it so hard to get your child to complete a few chores and more importantly, why do you have to keep reminding them constantly that it needs to be done? Chores for children and how to enforce them is what this article is all about.

It’s not that kids don’t think of chores as a priority. There are a lot of adults that don’t think that chores are a priority either. Just ask my husband, who hasn’t made a bed or done a load of laundry in nine years! By his inaction, he is teaching our kids that chores aren’t important-that if it doesn’t get done someone will eventually do it for him-me. But the kids also see me keep a strict chore checklist and adhere to it, so it’s not like they don’t have a positive role model for completing housework.

Okay, so that’s some insight to my household. The answer to how to get children to do chores is to not allow them to think of chores as an unpleasant experience which must be completed. They need to think of them as responsibilities that they are in control of which makes them a valuable part of the family. My husband’s part in the family is to go to work each day-whether he wants to or not. Mine is to do the housework, most of the cooking, and work-whether I want to or not. The kids job is to go to school, keep their rooms picked up, take out the garbage, and take care of our dogs-whether they want to or not. Don’t refer to them as “chores.” They are necessary responsibilities which keeps the household running.

Some schools of thought would advise parents to incorporate a children’s chore list and keep it on the refrigerator, checking off daily chores as they are completed and receiving some sort of reward at the end. That’s fine, and children should receive some sort of incentive to complete chores-other than knowing they are a valuable part of the family, because as much as it is the root of all evil, money talks. The adults are rewarded for their work with a paycheck, and if you give your kids payment at the end of the week for completing their chores, they will learn responsibility with not only housework but also with cash. My only advice with using a chart is to put everyone one it, not just the kids.

If you want to get really serious and fancy, there are free chore charts available online, or the children can draw up their own. The most important thing you can do for your family in the area of chores for children, however, is explain to them that the responsibilities you give them ( i.e; chores) are because they are important to the family as a unit and that you trust them by giving them responsibilities.


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