Saturday, 3 May 2014

10 ways to encourage your child to help around the home.

One thing my kids enjoy doing is their chores. Yes that's right. Chores!
No child likes cleaning their rooms. Mine included.
But my kids love doing their chores on Saturdays.

Here are 10 ways to encourage your kids to do their jobs that actually work in our home..

Prepare them. 
Give a time and day a week prior to when they will be expected to do their jobs. If under 5 give them 10 minutes notice. Saying something like "In ten minutes time we're going to be doing our jobs". This always works for my kids. Jie (8yo) now knows that Saturday is our clean up days while Nevaeh still needs to be reminded 10 minutes prior.

Assign a job.
Only you know your child so you know their abilities. When choosing a chore for them to do base it on their capabilities. For example you wouldn't get your 3 year old to vacuum or put the bins out on a Tuesday night. But a three year old may be able to pick up the clothes in the bathroom or put the knives, forks and spoons away. Older kids can do things like put the recycling out, clean rooms and hallways or learn to use the washing machine and dishwasher.

Clear expectations.
When giving your child the job make it clear to them what you expect them to do. Giving the instruction to "Clean the kitchen" can confuse a child so set out and simplify the task for them. This may include things like.. 1. Stack the dishwasher. 2. Wipe the sink and benches. 3. Wipe the cupboards and draws. 4. Sweep the floor. etc. You can write them up or continually tell them. I personally prefer to tell them one by one. But it also depend on your child.

Give a demo.
Go through how you want things done. With what products and how to use them. While teaching a child how to use a broom and dust pan and brush may sound silly - do it! Take that extra time to explain any questions they may have in using new cleaning utensils and demonstrate how to use them properly.

 Never shout or degrade their efforts.
If you see that you child is not doing something right, assess it. Watch for a minute and ask yourself if the job is still getting done. For example, your child is spraying windex onto the sponge instead of on the surface then cleaning. Is the area still getting clean? Yes. Don't make a big deal because they're not doing something your way. Allow them to have a little independence. If it's really bugging you walk away. But if you absolutely have to show them how to do something "right" than intavine in a calm and respectful way. "Hey Jimmi, this looks great in here! Can I show you how I do it sometimes?" Then he feels like he has a choice and will most likely try your way. Never shout. This will make your child withdraw and not want to try again next time.

Make it fun.
Switch the music up. Dance around. Dress up in scrubbers (old clothes). Tell jokes. Talk. Spy. Do anything you possibly can to make the kids have a good time.

Set an example.
If your children are cleaning, you should be cleaning. Kids watch you and everything you do. Make sure that every time they see you, your cleaning. This will motivate them more.

Praise in every way.
No matter if the job is big or small say "WOW!". Look shocked. Ask if they really did it. Be seriously excited. Be over the top happy. Be proud. Give hugs. Tell them they're the best. Tell them they do it better than you. Dance with glee. Ask them what they want for tea!

Shout it out.
Everyone that comes over, tell them what Jimmy did. Everyone who calls tell them what Jimmy did. Tell other siblings. Tell the neighbors. Tell the pets! Make them feel amazing about helping their Mama.

Feedback.
Talk before bed. Seriously. Ask your child what works for them. What doesn't. What you can do to help them. What their favorite thing is about their chores. What was the worst. Make it about them and make them feel independent. Tell them what you think about honestly. Ask them how you can make it better next time.

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