Thursday, March 24, 2011

How can I get my child to do chores? Part 2

On Monday’s post I discussed how encouraging the natural excitement of young children to be with you can foster lifelong habits. I talked about how my mother’s love of doing dishes came from the time she spent with her mother.

It is no secret that children model the behaviors of their parents. Our children also tend to have the same attitude we do. This is another reason your child may HATE chores. If your child sees that whenever you fold the laundry you are unhappy and seem to hate it, he will think “that doesn’t seem like fun.” If it doesn’t seem enjoyable you will struggle to get him to do it. But if your child sees you folding the laundry with a smile on your face somehow finding enjoyment from the activity, he is going to want to be involved in the process. So often we ask our kids to do something around the house because we hate doing it. We can’t expect our children to find enjoyment in something when we can’t find pleasure in.

If your child is already in or near to his teen years this is going to be more difficult. One thing to remember is that if your teen has more input into what your house looks like, he may have more desire to see it taken care of. When you are picking out a new couch, carpet or wall colors give your child an equal voice to what you pick. Let him pick out paint for his room and decorate how he likes. And remember the more you push a teenager the more he will pull away. Making a big deal of a messy room may be doing more harm than good.

There is nothing wrong with incentives to complete a task. Earning a wage for doing chores is one way children learn how to manage money. Be careful with allowances. Because, we tend to give our kids the chores we are unwilling to do ourselves, giving them an allowance will not inspire the will to complete the task. Giving an allowance alone will encourage your child to do the bare minimum to get the job done. However, giving an allowance for work done coupled with making chores a family boding event can help your child develop a sense of satisfaction of a job well done.

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