Kids have a natural love of learning, but that sometimes won’t carry over into chores. Teaching your kids about the ways of the working world through household chores can be very beneficial to them and help your home run smoother. Consider the following ways you can introduce chores and emphasize more responsibility to your children.
1. Set the stage with monetary rewards. It’s good for kids to learn the process of earning things they want in life and the earlier the better. Diagram the value of certain chores, showing them that more and harder work can yield higher and greater rewards. You may wish to leave a chore or two without a tie-in to allowance, as basic responsibility should also be emphasized.
2. Assign age appropriate chores with clear expectations. Some kids are more mature than others, and ready earlier on in life for greater challenges. Set the chores up according to what you believe your child can really do well so that they will not feel as if they have failed. Also, make sure they know exactly what the chore entails.
3. Teach them the chores well and do them yourself a few times. Sit down and demonstrate how each task should be done, and let your kids see you in action. Knowing the most efficient ways of doing things, and that it is something everyone does, will help in the adjustment of taking on new responsibilities.
4. Follow up on their progress. Especially in the beginning, don’t presume that the chore got done simply because that was the expectation. Go behind them as they work, preferably without them really seeing you, and ensure that things are going according to plan. If your child meets with a challenge, be there to help them overcome and learn from it.
5. Hang up a chore-chart. This is an excellent tool that will help your child see all their hard work in living color. It gives them a good guide for planning other activities and reinforces everything you are trying to instill. Depending on their age, use stars and happy faces to mark really good work, and have a few frowning characters on hand to denote areas in need of improvement.
6. Let them face some consequences for not meeting responsibility. Above and beyond the lure of the allowance, kids need to know that there are consequences involved when they fail to uphold their end of the bargain. Don’t be too harsh, and allow for leniency under certain circumstances like extra homework or illness, but squeeze all the life-lessons you can out of the experience.
7. Don’t overwhelm them. The last thing you want to do is turn them off to the process of learning to help out, earning money through hard work and stepping up to the responsibility plate! Start off slowly, allowing for plenty of time for their other activities, and gradually increase your level of expectations as well as their work load.
Some kids may resist chores, while others embrace the opportunity to please their parents and earn some pocket change. What ever your child’s response is, work with them over time and make chores a really great teaching tool!