Ways to Get Kids to Help With Chores

When you’re trying to get the house clean, or the lawn mowed, the carpets vacuumed or the dishes done, it makes it easier to have help, doesn’t it? If you have kids, it’s important to spread responsibility equally for taking care of bedrooms and houses. Chores help children learn to take responsibility, have pride in keeping things neat and clean, and helps train them to become more efficient and able adults.

But…kids hate chores. Of course they do. Who doesn’t? Spending your free time cleaning and organizing isn’t an exciting proposition to a child who would rather spend their time watching TV or playing video games (or maybe even outside or playing sports?). It can be difficult as a parent turning chore time into anything less than an argument or a compromise of sorts.

So, if you’re looking for creative and interesting ways to motivate your kids to buckle down and do their chores, here are some ways that you might be able to get them to decide to clean their room:

1) Consider an allowance.

Okay, this one is kind of cliche and tired out, but an allowance can be a very useful tool to allow your kids the motivation to get their chores done in a timely fashion. But, let’s throw a spin into the typical allowance scenario. Many parents do a weekly allowance amount, but many times, even with a weekly allowance, kids won’t really comprehend what the work they’re doing in their chores really means for them financially. So, try a new angle: Make a chart where each chore and task worth a certain amount. Vacuuming the floor is worth $3, dusting the shelves is worth $2, etc. And the total amount that the kids do in a day or a week will be what their allowance is. This way, whenever your kids are wondering why they’re doing their chores, they can point to the chart and say, “I’m doing this task for $3.”

2) Answer kid’s questions.

Take a moment to discuss exactly why you need them to do this chore, and be specific about how important their role in it is. Kids very often do want to feel important and useful in the house and the family as a whole, but when all they’re told is “Clean your room”, they might interpret that to mean the same as when a teacher hands out a useless worksheet that doesn’t teach lessons, just takes time. So, when you ask your kids to help out with a chore and they ask why, they’re not asking just to be difficult (well, not always). Take a moment and genuinely explain how important it is that they do their chores and how it helps you and helps everyone in the family.

3) Involve the kids.

Ask what chores your child likes and dislikes the most. Gauging how they feel about certain tasks can help you come up with a solid game plan of how to motivate them to get those difficult ones done with the least amount of squirming and whining as possible. Even the ones they have to do that they do not like can be made easier when they understand why and have at least some voice. Kids are more likely to do chores without as much fussing and complaining when they get the sense that their voice matters and that they can enhance and help with the process of assigning and carrying out chores.

Getting kids to help with chores can be very difficult. Hopefully these ideas will make getting your kids to help with chores less of a chore for you.


The following was a post by Sarah Jo Lorenz-Coryell