Think back and ask yourself if you enjoyed doing your chores when you were a child? I would think that the answer is probably not. And when you did, it was probably because your parents made them fun or at times you get something back in return (e.g. monetary rewards which allow you to buy what you liked). These made you look forward to cleaning up your room, putting away your toys and helping out with the laundry.
If you are into the fun aspects which involve a few on the rewards side… you can consider taking the following steps to make chores fun for your kids so that it won’t feel like pulling teeth the next time you have to clean up around the house.
#1 – Use A Reward System Your Child Is Familiar With
Your kid gets stickers at school as a form of positive recognition when he does well, so why not repeat this at home? Give your children the same number of weekly chores each. Post a “Top Household Helper” board (or you can get a ready made version like the one above) and reward your child with a sticker every time a chore is accomplished. If there are siblings involved, you can consider rewarding the best household helper at the end of the week with some appropriate incentive.
#2 – Throw A Scavenger Hunt
Instead of telling your child you need help cleaning the entire house, why not have a scavenger hunt? If books, newspapers, clothes and toys need to be picked up, put them down as part of a scavenger list. The winner is the child that finds the most items and returns them to their proper place (which can be a dustbin if you need their help in cleaning up the place).
#3 – Have A Friendly Contest
After breakfast, lunch or dinner, set a timer on 5 or 10 minutes. Tell your children that they have to clean up as quickly as possible before the time expires and the one who is slow will have one or two more chores added or a slight disadvantage which can be applied to the rest of the recommended items here. This makes doing the dishes or cleaning off the table after a meal more like a game than a chore.
#4 – Take Your Child Shopping For Cleaning Supplies
Buy inexpensive cleaning supplies and customize it with your child’s name. Then allow him to help you choose his own sponge, paper towel roll, dust rag and other cleaning items. This personalizes the experience of cleaning, and your child will enjoy his sense of ownership.
#5 – Offer An Allowance (But Do Not Make It A Habit)
Many pediatricians and other child experts believe that payment in return for chores should only take place once your child is a teenager. But if that is the case, you can instill great workplace habits by rewarding your child’s chore completion financially. Take this chance to teach your child the value of money and the importance of saving up.
#6 – Use The Clutter To Hide Rewards
You know that loose change in your pocket or purse at the end of the day? Hide it under toys, clothes, books and anything else that you need cleaned up and organized. You can also use snacks and stickers to incentivize performing household chores. You can simply make a sign somewhere to let your child knows that there’s a hidden reward somewhere and it’s up to him to perform chores on his own to seek that out!