Many American parents find they have a lot in common when it comes to the subject of chores, specifically, getting their kids to do them. But in other societies, little ones are busy sweeping the floors and washing the family laundry with smiles on their faces. So what gives? Are we a spoiled culture that is above doing chores?
Not exactly, but many of us get into that mindset that we need to do it all ourselves or that it needs to be perfect. So much so, in fact, that we may shoo away help when it is offered from our kindly toddlers.
The secret to your success with turning your kids into those that do chores without whining about them is to start them early. Here’s how!
Involve them as much as possible
When you cook, let them help by adding some herbs. When you do the laundry, let them help by gathering the clothes. When you sweep the floors, let them hold the dustpan. Little ones are naturally inclined to help and when you let them, even if they don’t do a perfect job, they feel good. It’s this feel-good feeling they will chase after that will lead them to doing more and more to help out as they get older.
Give them mock work
It’s very true that relying on your toddler to get your floors completely clean is a bad idea, however, you can make them feel like they’re contributing. Sweep the floor yourself first. Then call your child in to come do it. They’ll take great pride in it and you can breathe a sigh of relief that they haven’t merely pushed the dirt around in circles to create more work for you. It’s a win-win.
When your kids are big enough, you can share the load of work that needs to be done. A great example of this is with laundry. When you’re folding your laundry, have the kids come and fold theirs up. Make it fun with music too and it seems less like a chore and more like spending time with you, something they love.
Don’t push it
When you force your kids to do chores, it has the exact opposite impact which is what creates resistance. Instead, use wording to sway them. When you ask for help as opposed to demanding it, you are more likely to get the response you desire. Additionally, if you ask your child to do it with you, it should yield the same positive results.
When you change the way you go about approaching chores with your young children, then you’re going to find that they’re much more helpful. Find ways for them to contribute even if it’s just picking up toys or socks or dumping in a cup of flour when you’re cooking. Don’t yell, just change your perspective and you’ll see you’ve got helpers waiting to make a difference!