Chores.  No one likes them, but they’ve got to get done.  I will be the first to admit that I have been extremely lax in creating routines for my children that help our family manage our household better.  It’s tiring picking the same items up over & over & over again.  Shoes in the middle of the floor, dishes left on the table, toys…. oh, the toys.  Can you relate with this situation?

My childhood was filled with chores.  We set the table, emptied the dishwasher, helped to dust & vacuum, were expected to keep our rooms tidy {sorry, Dad!}, and helped to fold & put away laundry.  Did I like doing chores?  Of course not — I was a kid!  But chores are more than just “helping out Mommy” — they are teaching children how to effectively manage a household.  Unless we want our children to grow up and live their entire adult lives with us, these are skills that must be learned.  

The question is…“How do I get my kids to do chores?” without losing your mind from the whining & less than eager attitude to participate.

kids doing chores

Start them out young. Two year old are not too young to start helping out around the house. While the tasks shouldn’t be huge, of course, she can certainly help out with a few small jobs. When it’s time to clean up toys, include your little one in this task {clean up song optional!}.  From the start, introducing your kids to the concept that they should clean up one toy before getting out another one {shocking, I know!} is a good choice.  

Chore ideas for little ones:

  • Throw trash in the trash can
  • Feed the cat or dog
  • Match socks
  • Help a parent put clothes in the washing machine
  • Dust the chairs 
  • Spray & wipe {vinegar & water works wonders!}

Chore ideas for bigger kids:

  • Fold & put away laundry
  • Set the table
  • Feed & water family pets
  • Water houseplants
  • Make their bed
  • Tidy their room
  • Spray & wipe surfaces, dust {again, with vinegar & water}

Set up a chore chart. Kids need a little more incentive?  Create a chore chart for your kids. Make the chart colorful and easy to read and display it on the fridge where it can be seen. When your kids have completed their chores each day, place a sticker, a dot or some other marking on the chart to signify the completion of the tasks. At the end of the week or month, give your kids a reward like a trip to the playground, baking a sweet treat, or extra books at bedtime if their section of the chore chart is filled in.  Avoid paying them & giving them new toys for doing things that are expected.  It creates an ugly monster and when you ask your kids to help out, they’ll be wanting to know, “What’s in it for me?”  

Be consistent. Being consistent seems like an easy behavior for parents, right?  We gear up with this new family iniative that EVERYONE IS DOING CHORES!  It will be great!  We call a family meeting, we pull out the shiny laminated chore charts fresh from Pinterest, but…why are we the only ones who are psyched!?  Don’t give in.  They will hate it at first — remember that they are kids.  You are teaching them a valuable lesson about teamwork and skills that foster independence.