Children yearn to be a part of the adult world – they are constantly playing at going to office, dressing up like mom and dad, and even mimic adults in the way they speak. So, let your children help you in your chores – you may just find that making beds and cleaning the yard is not really beyond their eager little fingers.
- Try to make operation clean-up as much fun as possible. Songs work like magic with preschool-age children. So make a clean-up song so that it seems like a choreographed activity. Older children may want their own beats!
- Sorting out things. It can become a great activity to ask young school children to play a game of matching socks and sorting laundry. You can even move them up grades – from sorting to folding and finally putting them where they belong.
- Work together side by side. It is good for your children to see you work alongside them. You have to be a role model for them. You will also get to know the way your children work. It is not necessary for your children to do things the way you do them.
- Don’t make housework a punishment. If your children don’t finish their task on time, they can do some extra chore around the house. This is not a punishment – this is an exchange of labour. You had to pick their stuff; now they have to do something for you.
- Make sure your child is able to do what you ask. A toy box lid that is too heavy to lift, shelves that are too deep, clothes poles that are over a child’s reach make it all hard for a child to help, if not impossible.
- Be very specific about what you want your child to do. “Clean your room” sounds very vague. Does it mean pick everything off the floor so it is all right to cram everything under the bed or into the closet? “Pick up all the blocks and put them in the block box” is more helpful.
- You will often hear your child’s theme song, “Why do I have to do everything?” To help you out of this jam, you might want to create a chore chart for the entire family, showing mom’s and dad’s chores, and all the things children take for granted.
- When asking for help remember to ask politely. Explain you are willing to do your share of your work but everyone in the family needs to help. Explain that you would be a more relaxed person and easier to live with if everyone would just select a simple task and help. Try not to get after them.
- Offer rewards for completing the chores. A small snack, a warm hug or a sincere thanks are good rewards for small tasks. A new toy or a trip to the zoo are rewards that can be given to show your appreciation.