6 Ways to Get Your Kids to Do Their Chores…Without Nagging!
Please note: I received access to a Homey subscription for free in exchange for the following review. My opinions are honest and I was not required to post a positive review.
Let’s face it. No one likes to do chores. And the older you get the more you just wish they would go away…or at least take care of themselves. Do the laundry? Ugh. Do the dishes? Double ugh. Clean the bathroom? Sigh.
Getting kids to do their chores can sometimes feel like pulling teeth. And it’s easy to understand why.
As adults, we have the ability to see beyond the chore to the long-term effects. We understand that if we don’t do the laundry, we won’t have any clean clothes to wear. Or the longer we put off cleaning the bathroom the harder (and yuckier) it will be.
But kids can’t see that. Especially younger kids. For the most part, they can’t see beyond the short-term. They may think that the mess doesn’t look bad enough to justify the time spent to clean it.
Or they may just be frustrated that the chore takes away from their play time.
No matter what the reason is, we want and need them to do their chores.
Chores are important for so many reasons:
- They help to distribute the work of keeping up a multiple-person household.
- They teach personal hygiene and the importance of keeping a (mostly) tidy living area.
- They teach work ethic.
- They can teach financial responsibility if you assign a monetary value to them.
All of these are very important skills for your kids to learn for their adult lives.
So now, the burning question:
HOW do you get your kids to actually do their chores???
In our family, I have found that using positive reinforcement is the ticket to success:
1. Give your kids as much control as possible over tracking and completing their chores themselves.
Post visual reminders, schedules, and task checklists where the chore needs to take place or where your kids are most likely to see them. Use timers and alarms to help trigger the start, duration, or end of an activity.
Keeping your own verbal reminders to a minimum will help reduce arguments, frustration, and the temptation to nag.
2. Assign each chore an individual dollar amount to be earned rather than a long list of chores and a weekly allowance.
If the chore list is too ambitious and the reward seems unattainable, you will be hard-pressed to get anything to happen. Giving your kids small goals to work toward with instant rewards increases their confidence in their ability to get things done.
This kind of positive reinforcement builds and leads to more positive experiences…and more chores getting done!
3. Let the consequences speak for themselves.
Don’t deduct money as a punishment or consequence. If the chore isn’t done at the proper time, money isn’t earned.
It’s as simple as that.
Whether or not you choose to require the chore to still be completed is up to you. But the opportunity to earn the reward is lost.
Deducting money tends to lead to a lack of motivation. Your kids may end up feeling like there’s no point to work for money if it’s all going to be taken away. This could end up causing more problems than it solves for you and your family!
4. Keep your expectations realistic.
Make sure it’s a job they can do, and do well.
For example, even though you may want your child to manage the trash all the way from the trash can to the curb, it may not be an age-appropriate task…at least not yet.
If they aren’t big enough to handle moving the cans outside, start with having them collect the trash from one or more smaller cans inside. Then add on from there as their confidence and abilities grow.
5. Build up the chore list slowly – especially if you have a reluctant helper.
Make a list of all the chores you would like them to do and then start with just a few.
Include a few that are easy to complete!
This helps keep them from feeling overwhelmed and shutting down completely. And as I mentioned earlier, the more positive experiences your kids have, the more positive experiences they will keep having.
Once they feel good about the chores they’re doing, you can add a few more in a little at a time until they’re doing everything on your original list. It may not result in the instant house-cleaning you were dreaming of, but the long-term results will be much better for everyone.
6. Use a chore and allowance tracking app, like Homey.
Homey gives kids power over their responsibilities and provides a visual record of money being earned.
Within the Homey app, you can set up jobs (chores that earn money upon completion) and responsibilities (chores that either have no monetary value or that earn a weekly allowance once all or most are completed.)
You can also set up savings jars to help track the money that has been earned and teach your kids the importance of managing their “income”.
As each chore is finished, you or your child can mark it as completed. You can even require photo proof – which can be especially helpful for older kids who have their own smartphone or tablet.
The money earned is then added to your child’s virtual wallet and can be distributed into different savings/spending jars from there. The jars fill up visually with a color bar and indicate they are ready to be paid out once any pre-set monetary values have been achieved. (If you’re interested in more info on the app, I’m working on a more in-depth review post to publish soon.)
Want to try the Homey app?
You can also enter to win a free year’s subscription by filling out the form below!
Getting your kids to do their chores will never be totally fight-free. But I hope you find that it goes a little smoother and a little easier with these ideas.
I would love to hear from you! How do you handle chores at your house? What strategies do you use to get your kids to do their chores?