Make Doing Chores a Positive Experience
Doing chores helps children develop responsibility they can apply to schoolwork. But how do you get your child to want to do chores?
Remember that elementary-age children love to plan and carry out their plans. So first, involve your child in brainstorming what needs to be done and when. Then, make it a point to:
- Be a good model. Happily do chores yourself. Acknowledge your satisfaction when you finish a chore.
- Offer a choice of chores. Let your child choose two or three from a longer list. Elementary schoolers should be able to do tasks such as taking out the trash, vacuuming, folding laundry, feeding a pet and helping with yard work.
- Rotate chores each week, so no one feels stuck doing a disliked chore. Put chores on slips of paper in a bowl, and have family members draw one from the bowl.
- Make a game of it. Race to put things away. Or set a timer and see if your child can "beat the clock."
- Use a chore chart. Place a star on it when chores are finished.
- Schedule a "work time" when everyone is doing a job.
- Curb criticism. Don't immediately say what your child did wrong. Gently ask what your student would do to improve the work next time.
- Be encouraging. Say, "Here's the broom so you can help! You can do it. Let's do this together."
- Follow chores with fun. Have a basket of index cards listing fun activities to do after chores.
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