One of the biggest debates in child rearing could be devoted to assigning chores, and if and when you should do it. Many parents may have already decided how to handle it, while you may have wanted to wait until your child or children start to grow and then make the call. No matter how you have it planned, you may be reconsidering or wonder how to start.
Make It Fun at First
If you have decided to start assigning chores to your child, you may be starting a little on the younger side. But really, no matter their age, you can always make the progression into chores more fun and enjoyable to begin with. Picking easier or more engaging tasks at first can help your child want to do them, and stay consistent with them in the long run. This will enable you to focus on other tasks on hand instead of checking in and ensuring the chores get done. Plus, it will help bolster your child to take on more a few months down the road. Starting with easy tasks like picking up their toys or helping to set the table will help them enjoy the experience.
Bigger Tasks & Asks
As your child gets used to these tasks, you can ramp it up after a few months if you wish. Depending on your child’s age, the tasks can vary, but the most basic chores can include: setting the table, clearing the table, doing the dishes, loading the dishwasher, cleaning their room, cleaning up or tidying other parts of the house, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting, and helping with the laundry. When your child is much older, they can also help with mowing the yard! They can also help pull weeds or get the garden started up each spring. If your child has a particular interest in certain hobbies related to chores, you can utilize that as well. If your child enjoys cooking, for example, this can help lighten your load while making meals no matter their age! As they get older, though, they can take on more and more of the cooking, and you can even add the dishes or clean up to their chore list too. This will also keep them engaged better and may potentially give them experience for jobs when they’re ready.
If you are running into trouble keeping your child on task to get chores done, don’t give up. You may want to reevaluate what you’ve assigned them, and ensure it’s doable for their age category. You’ll also want to make sure they understand what they have to do; they may be procrastinating because they simply don’t understand and don’t want to ask for clarification. If you’re still being hit with refusals, don’t get discouraged. Staying consistent will help keep your child on track, and will help show them that they won’t get out of doing certain chores.