Chore Wars ~ 5 Ways to Help Your Child

We can handicap our children when we don't teach them important life skills through chores. Chores can be used to build self-esteem, confidence, responsibility, sense of importance and value, respect, and more. How do we get kids to do chores and not have Chore Wars?
1- Discuss them when no one is upset.
No one is motivated by upset, angry, or critical (i.e. not good enough, or you failed already) conversation.
We avoid pain and seek pleasure and comfort, so talk about them people calm. When discussing chore expectations; outline (and have kids come up with) positive and negative consequences to follow. Talk about ways to make chores fun with a game, competition, a reward system, or family time after they're done.  2- Clearly outline what needs to be done IN WRITING. Make a chart, list, or pictures for younger kids. Adults use lists to remember. Kids need them too. It's easier to redirect a child back to a chart, rather than reminding them (which can turn into nagging). 

Note that generally kids don't remember more than 3 commands at a time. If you give them 5 things to do, they won't remember all of them. Break it down into smaller amounts and make it visual.

 

3- Give them a time frame. Don't demand they do it on-demandNone of us like 'do-it-right now' commands. In fact, unless it's an emergency, we may consider it rude and disrespectful. Give reasonable time frames to work in. For example: 5 minutes until dinner or 1 hour to do chores (with no electronics until finished.)

 

4- Do it together.

More than anything else, our kids want to spend time with us. Use chores as fun time together. Teach them to enjoy work by having fun and doing it together. If you have a regular, family chore time, no one feels left out or picked on working alone. Work together, then play together.

 

5- Don't Nag. Follow through. It's easy to get caught in a habitual nagging cycle. Nagging doesn't work. It teaches others not to think for themselves. Instead of nagging, follow through with the positive (and negative) consequences established in step One. 

Other helpful online articles

*Chilling the Chore Wars

*Chore Lists for Kids

*Life's a Chore

*5 Reasons Your Kids Should Have Chores