Coaching Kids through Chores Builds Self-Worth
Encouraging Kids to Help Around the House Makes them feel Valued
by Dr Caron Goode
Putting one’s house in order can help get your child’s inner self in order too. Remember how good it feels to fold and put laundry away for the week. The inner sense of achievement can be easy when a child completes a task, and does it well enough to receive your appreciation and thank-you for a job well done.
Coaching your kids to complete chores helps to establish a sense of self-worth in them. Feeling like their contributions matter to the successful operations of the household can make them feel valued and more connected to their family.
You can coach your kids to complete their chores by:
- Making chore time fun. Clean up to a favorite song or end chore time with a special family activity, like making ice cream sundaes.
- Posting a chore list on the fridge. Incorporate chore time into your daily routine and have each person check of their chores as they are done.
- Assigning age-appropriate chores. Your two-year old certainly can’t mop the floors, but if you put socks on his hands he can certainly help dust!
- Letting each person pick the chores they’d like to do. Allowing the kids to have a say in what family chores they’d like to do can go a long way in gaining cooperation. Rotate chores every so often so each person gets a turn doing their favorite.
- Using an egg timer, set aside 20 minutes for family chores and encourage everyone to beat the buzzer.
- Being consistent in your expectations. If you say no television until the chores are done, follow through.
- If the whole family tackles one room in a twenty-minute period, laugh and race to clear the space and enjoy!
- Avoiding the nagging cycle. Instead of nagging your child, set a timer and advise him the chore needs to be done before the buzzer goes off. If it’s not, enforce a consequence like taking away screen time or bumping up bedtime.
If you’ve tried these strategies and your child still isn’t cooperating, consider implementing a reward system. While we’d like to all think the intrinsic reward of feeling good about your contribution to the family is enough of a motivator to get our kids to do their chores, for some kids it simply isn’t. Chores are, in a sense work, and perhaps your child is more likely to complete his work if there is some sort of payoff. Consider what motivates your child (money, matchbox cars, screen time) and use that as your reward currency.
How do you coach your child to complete his chores? What strategies work for you? Share your tips in the comments below.
Dr. Goode is the founder of the Academy for Coaching Parents International, a global online school for training successful, parenting coaches in home-based businesses. She is the author of fifteen books, including the international best seller, Kids Who See Ghosts, the national award-winner Raising Intuitive Children. See and review all of Dr. Goode’s books here. Dr. Goode is also the founder of HeartWise Parent, learning center for parents and Live-Spirit.com, which provides tools for spiritual living.