Chores don’t have to be…well … y’know

Chores don’t have to be…well … y’know

Household tasks don’t have to be a chore. Manage your family’s to-dos with these tips.


Chores.

Even the word feels a little yucky, right?

In theory, chores are a simple system where kids help out around the house. In the process, they’re supposed to learn important values, like responsibility, time management and independence, right?

Thanks to modern parenthood, we’ve devised countless ways to train our kiddos to pull their own weight. Every imaginable approach to chores has been talked (and written) about — from sticker charts to cold hard cash.

With the understanding that every family is different and what works for one may not work for another, here are some ideas to try for getting everyone on board with chores.

Let Them Choose


Just like grownups, kids can divide chores into “don’t mind” and “hate passionately” categories. In an ideal world, we’d only have chores that fall in the “don’t mind” camp. In the real world, however, we have to manage both. Letting the kids choose their responsibilities helps them complete their chores more quickly and cheerfully.

Make it Fun


Like grownups, kids find chores more enjoyable when there’s an element of fun. Our family likes to include challenges like, “Who can get it done first?” or, “Who can pick up the most?” Even telling one child to pick up all the red pieces and telling the other to pick up the blue pieces can inspire some interest.

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Embrace Mediocrity


Forget perfection: Your standards will never be met. The sooner you make peace with that, the happier you’ll be. Kids are still learning and they’re doing the best they can — so don’t feel like you need to do everything for them. You’re giving them a sense of responsibility, not dusting for fingerprints.

Take a Job and Love it


Chore charts work for some, but other families have a hard time sticking to them and keeping them updated month after month. In our family, those stickers and tiny boxes end up being more trouble than they’re worth.

Instead, our kids have specific responsibilities; and when they finish those jobs they get a sticker on their sticker page. Their sticker page also works for wearing big kid undies, choosing vegetables for a snack and for any specific character-developing tasks we want the kids to complete. A certain number of stickers result in treats like temporary tattoos, new cool socks, pencils or glitter time.

Individualize
and Customize

Come on, they’re in control of so little in their lives. Break down and get them their own bucket, sponge and small dish soap. This personalization can make the chores so much more fun to complete.

Break it Down

Just like with adults, the bigger the item is on the to-do list, the less likely it is to get done. If you’ve added “clean bedroom” to your list, you’ll have better results by instead using “make bed,” “sort clothes” and “vacuum rug.” The same goes for kids — make sure bigger tasks are broken down into bite-sized chores.

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