There’s an easy way to get kids to do chores. You will be surprised at how easy it is.
But it does take work on your part to change the mindset and to get your kids into the habit of doing their chores with a good attitude.
My guest is a mom often and knows all about getting kids on board with chores.
Check out the full episode by listening in the player above. Or check out the post below for highlights.
Start with changing the mindset.
To get the kids to do chores first starts with mindset.
We have to go from being willing to pick up behind everyone to teaching our kids we don’t work for them, and we’re not the maid.
Most of the time, moms don’t want to put up with the attitudes and the temper tantrums and think that they will get chores done faster themselves anyway.
This is a trap in the name of saving time.
The problem is when you do it once your kids see the potential for a pattern to do it again.
Instead, let everyone know that there is a new mom in town, and everyone will pitch in and work together as a team.
Mom, you’re the cheerleader, motivator, and manager of this new team that you have been handed instead of the maid that will constantly be cleaning every day.
Just like the coach in the movie the Mighty Ducks, you can’t just teach your kids the skills and expect to win.
You have to help shape and change their attitudes. And cast the vision of what you want for your home and your family.
Then help the kids understand that family means the team and we all work together.
The simple way to get kids to do chores without complaining
What is the fastest and easiest way to get your kids on board to help with chores?
The 5-minute family cleans up. This is Ashley’s number one way to get kids to chores and actually enjoy it.
First, start by setting a timer for 5 minutes. Let the kids know that everyone will clean up for 5 minutes, and when the time is up, then everyone stops.
Next, put on some upbeat music. The fast beat in music helps to get the kids to work faster.
Then set the parameters by letting the kids know that they have to be doing your best and with a good attitude.
Everyone is in the same room, helping to pull the room together and get it tidy.
Then start the timer and tell everyone to go.
Typically kids have fun and may even ask for 5 more minutes. Sounds surprising, right?
This has happened to Ashley more than once. Here is some helpful advice if this does happen to you:
Kill it before its dead.
Meaning, stop the fun before the kids stop having fun. Let the kids know, “I will let you have 5 more minutes, and that is it.”
Stop it while they are still having fun and enjoying it because then when you do the activity again, they remember having fun when they stopped on a good note.
Kids chores by age group
Now that you have everyone helping tidy up let’s talk about some age-appropriate chores that kids can do.
Yes, even the little one can do chores.
3 to 4-year-old chores
Give your little one a damp washcloth to wipe the baseboards, appliance, and walls.
Their little bodies can get into places that are really uncomfortable for you.
Yes, they may not do the best job. But done is better than perfect and hurting back.
This age group can also use a handheld vacuum cleaner to clean up, especially in the corners that are hard to reach.
If you have a lightweight stick vacuum, let them have it to go over areas instead of giving them a toy vacuum.
5 to 7-year-old chores
At this age, kids can help empty trash cans into large containers for bigger kids or adults to take out.
They can also help with vacuuming, unloading the dishwasher, spraying the counters and wipe them down, and sweeping after meals.
8 to 11-year-old chores
This is when life gets easier. Ashley calls this the “magic age of 8” because kids have developed their motor skills and can help with so much more.
At 8 years old, kids can start by helping with washing the dishes. Have the kids start by washing the lunch dishes because these dishes tend to be easier to clean.
As they get a handle on things, they can wash breakfast dishes and then dinner dishes.
This age group can do all of the chores in the 5 to 7-year-old age group, like vacuuming, sweeping, and wiping counters.
At around 10 years old, kids are start cleaning the bathrooms.
Compensation for chores
Ashley briefly talked about compensation for chores.
Basically it boils down to, if kids want to get paid, they have to have a good attitude, do the chores well, and you shouldn’t have to ask them to do their chores more than once.
Even if the kids don’t do all three, they still have to do their chores; they just won’t get paid at the end of the week.
Don’t make it complicated.
Remember Mom, done is better than perfect.
This is the theme that you need to embrace when getting the kids to do chores.
Don’t be that mom and steal your kid’s joy if they don’t do their chores as well as you like.
You can have a cleaner house if you let everyone help you. If Ashley can do it with 10 kids, so can you.
About Ashley Buffa
Ashley is a sweet and loving mother of 10 children.
She’s a published author and expert on designing a chore schedule for your kids and the entire family so mothers can have more time for focusing on their passions.
Ashley learned the hard way to put her home in organized bliss with so many kids, and now she’s a coach to mothers who aspire to be great businesswomen but feel overwhelmed with motherhood.
Ashley believes all women can manage a household AND have the business of their dreams.
Founder of the Freedom Moms. Helps mom go from overwhelmed, doing everything themselves, overworked and underpaid to the respected and empowered home CEO of their home with everyone helping out.
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- 9 Reasons Why Chores are Important for Your Kids
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