My recent blog post “to-do lists revisited” I talked about my kids doing chores. I had a comment/question:
Hi Crystal, how do you get your children involved with your chores? Mine do not want to help, they want to play. When I force them to help, they complain the whole time.
I am so exhausted of asking all the time for them to do their chores - just set up the table, fill the glass with water.
They are 7 and 10 and I don't think that asking for help to set up the table is expecting too much from them?
What do you think?
No, I don’t think you are asking to much from them in any way. You asked how I get my children involved with chores. It is part of their childhood training. Chores are not an option or something annoying that must be done.. it is just part of life.. kind of like eating and school, etc.. It is a basic that when we make messes.. we clean them up. It is part of living real life. I have had my children doing chores since they were little. Cleaning up their toys, rooms, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the garbage, folding laundry and working with me doing what ever job I am doing. As they got older they started taking on certain jobs as their responsibility… someone takes care of the bathroom cleaning, someone cleans the living room, someone vacuums, a couple of kids are usually assigned kitchen duty and other jobs are shared like folding the kitchen and bathroom towels (everyone now does their own laundry and the only common household laundry is the kitchen and bathroom towels). I rotate these jobs around occasionally. By the time they are 12 they are doing their own laundry, cleaning and caring for their own rooms and their designated household responsibilities and other various jobs. My girls help with the cooking, my boys are responsible for bringing in the firewood all winter.
Do they always like to do their chores? No.. Do they complain? sometimes.. but regardless like eating and sleeping they must be done.. that is jut life.
If it were me I would make it known that from now on chores are an expected part of the day. If kids don’t have regular routines and out the blue you ask them to stop what they are doing and work.. it is harder to get cooperation. But if they already know this is an expected part of their day it becomes a normal part of life’s routine.
After they know that from this point forward they will have chores to do daily then write them out and give them each a list of their own chores to accomplish each day. They can morning and evening chores.
If they complain then you need some way of dealing with. I find that if they know what to expect, they do it regularly, then the complaining is really not a big issue. If it continued to be I would have to take away some privilege for a day for the complaining. My children know that it is of no value to complain and find getting their job done in a timely manner means they can move onto the thing they want to do.
Hope that helped answer the question!