Home > Kids > Values and Responsibilities > Chores > Chores and Children
|

Chores and Children

Motivating Kids to do Their Share

Four things influence the process of motivating children to do their chores, John Covey said.

  • Parents must model being responsible by doing housework themselves.

  • Parents must have a caring relationship with each child in the family.

  • The culture in the home must be cooperative. Do you do things together? Do you help each other?

  • Parents must see chores as an opportunity to teach their children both important life skills and values.

    Surprisingly, Covey, the father of 10, suggests that parents sometimes negotiate with their teenagers about chores. "The big thing is to listen to the child when they don't want to do a job, or listen any time, really," he said. "Don't just use force. Force, in the long run, doesn't build the relationship. Although, it gets results in the short run." Chores shouldn't be a burden or a punishment, Goldscheider added.

    At different ages, children need different levels of help and support while doing their chores, according to Covey. Parents should work side-by-side with young children, washing the dishes as the child clears plates from the dinner table, for example. The more you do with them when they're young, the more they can do by themselves later. "The older they get, they don't want you hovering over them while they do their work," Covey said.

    Chores and Allowance -- Keeping Them Separate

    Part of the rewards for doing chores should be the sense of accomplishment the child feels when the job is completed. Covey and Goldscheider agree that an allowance probably shouldn't be connected to fundamental chores. "They're very separate things," Goldscheider said. Chores are part of the basic responsibilities that family members have toward one another, Goldscheider said. Occasional tasks that the child does, however, can be compensated.

    The important point here is that parents are not just trying to get their houses clean or the lawn mowed or the snow shoveled, Covey said. The goal is to help the children develop values such as taking care of other people, finding pleasure in work, and being responsible and productive.

    This article was excerpted from National PTA's magazine, Our Children.

    More on: Chores

    |

  • stay connected

    Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

    Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

    Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

    editor’s picks

    earth day

    celebrate our
    planet with
    these activities
    and crafts.

    GO

    highlights

    Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
    Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

    Kindergarten Readiness App
    It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

    8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
    Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

    7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
    American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.