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How To Get Kids To Help With Chores

It's no secret the day goes better if the children help out with some of the chores. And if they want to, that's an added bonus. But they don't always want to. In this article, we're going to talk about how to get kids to help with the chores. 

I am Nicholeen and I'm a master of teaching children how to follow instructions. So, let's hear about some of the stories for my life including taking out the garbage as a teenager. And how I fixed that problem. And some other tips that you might need to help your children want to do their chores. 

When I was 16 years old, I had one chore. I'm ashamed to admit this but I had many chores throughout my entire life. By the time I was 16, I hardly lifted a finger around the house. And so my mom gave me one chore. In hopes that I would just do one thing to help out. And this was to take out the kitchen garbage. 

That was it. I was supposed to do it every day before I left for school. And guess what? I did not do it. In fact, I remember feeling a little bit like, "I should not have to do this. I did not even put this garbage in the garbage because was I ever home? NO." Not hard at all. And that's actually why I think that was the only chore I got. Because I wasn't there long enough to hardly do any other chores. 

Anyway, I remember one day when I was 16 walking out the door of the school. And my mom saying, "You've got to take out the garbage." And I was like, "No. I don't have time. I'll be late." This was always my excuse. But this time, my mom was sticking to her guns. She looked at me and she said. "You are not going to school until that garbage has been taken out." And I said, "You're going to make me late for school." 

We went back and forth about the garbage for probably 5 minutes. How long does it take to take it out of the kitchen garbage? Maybe 2 minutes? I was being ridiculous at this point. But she stuck to it. And I said, "Okay, fine." Obviously had an attitude problem a little bit that day. And I remember taking the garbage, taking it outside, getting in my friend's car, and going. I was not late. 

It was just fine. But my friends probably thought I was pretty selfish. I don't even remember seeing them argue with their parents about something as simple as a chore. At the same time, I'm not sure I remember them doing too many chores. But anyway, that was the only chore I had and I was oppositional about it. 

I wish my mother would've known some of the things that I know now as a mother. It would've been easier for her to parent me. I'm pretty sure I gave my poor parents all the gray hairs they earned. Children argue over chores. Or sometimes they just playing "Don't do them." So, what can we do to help them desire to do the chores? Or at the very least feel like it's not that big of a deal. Number 1 is to start them young. 

I think parents make a huge mistake if they assume that their toddler children can't start to do chores. They can. I have to say I learned this from my mother. She had a list of chores for every age. So when we were tiny like little toddlers, she had organizing silverware. She had us dusting window seals that we're probably like to the height of our noses. She had us doing the things that we could reach and that we could learn to do without much of her help. 

Well, I took her example and I did the same thing with my children. In fact, my children learned to do their laundry when they were tiny. By the time they were 3 years old, they could fold their laundry as it was. Not perfect, mind you. They were 3. And put it away in their drawers. They also helped me with a lot of my daily tasks and they helped even with basic cooking when they were little children. 

They loved it. Children developmentally love to learn new skills and work. They think it's fun. So, even though it could be done better if you do it yourself, we all get that. And even though it could take more of your time to teach them, it is worthwhile to teach them how to do chores and how to love the idea of work. One of the ways that you can teach your children to always love working is by working with them. 

So, in our family, we do family work time. Especially in the summer when there's a lot of yard work to do. We do yard work every single day. We wake up early, we go work outside. Then we come inside, have a little family time and then we work inside more and more and more work. And then finally, we do other things with our day that maybe we're on our individual list. 

Family work-time teaches children that work is okay. That they don't need to be afraid of doing a little manual labor. In fact, it's really liberating to see a job well done. And to know that you learn the skill. Learned how to do something. So, work together as a family. 

Another tip I have for your skill. They've got to learn skills that will help them do their chores and follow through with those chores. In our family, we teach children 4 basic skills. These books each teach one of the 4 basic skills. 

In this book right here Londyn LaRae says Okay teaches the skill of following instructions. Every chore is essentially an instruction that you are giving the children. Some of those instructions you give right in the minute like, "I need you to take your dish over." Or some of those instructions are what I call understood instructions. 

That means you gave the instructions one time such as "Every day, you need to make your bed." So, that's understood. You don't have to tell them every day to make the bed. They know that every day by 9:00 the bed needs to be made. And if it's not made, well then you have to correct it. And we'll talk about that later. But how do you follow an instruction? It's a skill-set. 

Those 4 basic skills take care of 99% of all behavior problems. But the most basic of all of those 4 basic skills is following instructions. If a person cannot or will not follow the instructions from their parents, they actually can't be patented. 

You can't teach your child anything unless they can do the 5 steps to following instructions which are to look at the person, to keep a calm face, voice, and body. To say okay or ask to disagree appropriately, to do the task immediately, and then to check back. Looking at the person, staying calm shows "I'm okay." And then they say okay. 

So, they tell themselves "I'm okay." They tell you "I'm okay." Or they disagree appropriately which is an appropriate skill to use if they have a question or an opinion or some sort of an appeal that they would like to make. Then they actually do the task, Then they prove to themselves they did it. And they were okay by coming and checking back to you. 

When a child is trained to check back to you, you can properly teach them cause and effect which is that goodwill good, bad will be bad. So, if they check back to you, you should praise them. You should praise your children 6 to 10 times for every one time that you correct them. Learning skills is vital. If they know how to follow instructions, then chores are not going to be an issue anymore.

As you can see, a big part of teaching children their chores is communication. You've got to teach them how you are going to communicate when things go right or wrong and how they need to communicate with you.

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