You want your kids to at least tolerate doing chores. And while it seems like an impossible goal, it’s really not. There are a few steps you can add into *your* process to make it a reality.
Try these on for size:
1 - Give them what they can handle
Kids need to know they’re capable and in order to get there, they need to know they can trust you. Make sure you’re giving them tasks that fit their age, their energy level, and their understanding.
Their age is all about their physical ability. A 3 year old can’t reach certain things, so expecting them to do chores that require getting something from a height won’t work. Just like a 5 year old can’t yet process how to sort a wide variety of items in a short amount of time.
Their energy level is all about how much they’ve done that day - not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally. If they’ve had a rough day at school, sorting their toys for donation isn’t the best chore to require of them.
Finally, their understanding is all about what they understood the task to be about. If they tell you they’re done, and there are still toys all over the floor, you’ll need to check in about what they thought the end result should look like.
2 - Give them the step-by-step and what the task should look like
As parents, we sometimes say, “Put your toys away!” and expect kids to respond with picking up all the toys and putting them in the bins. Instead, we need to give them the task in terms that make the process of the task clear and demonstrate the end result.
For example, you could say “Make sure that the toys go in the bin so there aren’t any left on the floor when you’re done.” From this they’ll know both *how* to do the task and *what* to do to get there. You also can check in with them without having meltdowns: “Did you make it so there’s no toys on the floor? Are all the toys in the bins?” (Yeah, you’ll probably have to remind them…)
3 - I do, we do, you do
This is a process most school teachers know and love. First, they show their students how to do something by doing it themselves. Then, they do it together with their students. Lastly, they’re able to set the student loose to try it on their own.
Young children require a both a demonstration and a participation lesson to do something. Work with them to both show them *and* do it with them. Then, give them a chance to do it all on their own.
They’ll be proud of their accomplishment and it’ll build trust between you when you help them climb step-by-step this way.
4 - Finally - celebrate and praise!
This is a favorite at our house - we celebrate something every day and look for ways to praise each other’s efforts toward completing household tasks. One of our littles LOVES to have a dance party any time he completes a task on his own.
So, where will you begin? What’s a step you could use to start right away? Which one of these will work best for you and your kids?