4 Tips to Get Kids to Help with Chores

4 Tips to Get Kids to Help with Chores

Discover 4 creative ways to make children do their chores with a smile.


Getting kids to do certain chores around the house can be a challenging task in and of itself. However, experts agree that some patience, creativity and early training can make a busy little helper out of almost every child.

Pat Saperstein, a Los Angeles-based journalist and mother of two young helpers, tells us that the earlier you start training the kids, the better results you’ll get in the long run.

1. Early Training
“Back when my kids were in preschool, they were taught this song called ‘Cleanup Time,’ and it sort of ingrained the idea in their minds that cleaning up was a fun thing to do — even when they were only two or three years old,” recalls Saperstein.

She points out that kids need to know that simple tasks like putting dishes away or cleaning their room are part of normal life, and not something out of the ordinary.

2. Creativity is Key
It’s a good idea to take advantage of the fact that younger kids love to be considered helpful. According to Saperstein, “It’s best to encourage them to try their hand at different tasks each day. You don’t want them to get bored with the same routine.”

On Saturdays, for example, they can play a game that involves folding all the clean socks when they come out of the dryer.

3. Reward Good Behavior
“Chore charts and gold stars are always helpful,” says Saperstein, “But both parents have to be fully on board with the plan. It’s worth trying but you have to be consistent.” She adds that children embrace structure and actually enjoy helping out around the house. “Look at the way kids automatically put on their seatbelts when they get in the car these days. They get used to the idea, so they don’t even question it.”

4. Be Realistic
Parents may also have to adjust their expectations once kids get older. Saperstein emphasizes that as parents, you don’t want arguments about chores to dominate your dialogue. “Stop and think about your interactions with your kids,” she says. “As they get ready to graduate from high school, you don’t want to look back and realize that you spent too much time arguing about their chores when they lived at home.”

Saperstein emphasizes that to win the chore game, you need to be consistent, manage your expectations and bring a sense of fun to mundane household tasks.

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