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Ways to Get Your Kids to Help with Chores (Without A Meltdown) 

By Tammy Donoho, Kentucky Youth Advocates

girl covering her mouthMany of us find ourselves in unfamiliar territory with our kids not going to school and unable to participate in afterschool or group activities. Their whole routine has changed and ours has too. I am used to coming home to a house that is exactly the way I left it when I went off to work in the morning.That is no longer the case! More people means more dishes, more garbage, more mess, more chores!  

I’ve never been that excited about enforcing the “children should do chores around the house” philosophy. Kids typically have a 7-8 hour school day (which is basically a job you don’t get paid for). Most have activities after school as well as homework. Children today keep pretty busy. When they finally have some free time and just want to “chill” it’s hard for me to cheerfully say, “Time to do the dishes.” Conversely, I am in favor of families working together. We all make the mess, we should all tidy up the mess. Now with this “new norm” we all need to pitch in. If you are like me and struggle with a little guilt, here are some helpful tips. 

Music makes work more fun! It provides a pleasant distraction from the mundane tasks. How much more fun is it to swirl a dusting cloth while listening, humming or singing to a rhythmic song? This “chore chirping” dates back hundreds of years and is still effective today. Whistle While You Work, The Clean Up Song and Just a Spoonful of Sugar are well known favorites.

Another successful strategy is to treat “family co-workers” with the same respect and appreciation as we treat our adult co-workers. Trying not to bark demands but asking politely, “Would you please make your bed?” can help everyone in the family feel valued and appreciated.

 Completion of a chore is always praiseworthy if we can look past the flaws (that crumpled up sheet covered by the bedspread.) Add a gentle reminder that when we all work together we create more time for the things we enjoy. I try to remember that their time is valuable to them just as my time is valuable to me and that they are an important part of the team!

Don’t be afraid to laugh with them about the little things that go awry when working together. Those giggles may become some of your favorite recollections.

 

Blog by Tammy Donoho, Kentucky Youth Advocates – Photos courtesy of Unsplash