Do you struggle with getting your kids motivated to do their chores? And more importantly, do you need some help around the house? I know I have definitely needed to rely on my kids some over the years – and that is not a bad thing! I used to think that I should do the majority of the work, but not anymore! There are a couple of things that changed my mind:
- Work is wonderful for kids! History gives us many examples of children working hard and growing up to be contented and happy. In fact, I remember reading a study that showed that kids that worked hard grew up to be happier than kids who didn’t. That really resonates with me because the large families that I have seen that work hard together are obviously contented. Their kids don’t complain about work. They’re used to it. And when they grow up, they continue to work and enjoy it (they aren’t shocked by adult responsibilities). I see this in my own kids also. They’re contented and used to working.
- God sees our work as very valuable and worthwhile. Jesus did things even when they were hard – He often spent His time doing things that weren’t “fun.” He could have stayed up in heaven being comfortable and having “everything He wanted.” Instead, He came to earth, to make us worthy. That meant Jesus was sometimes “uncomfortable,” and dirty, and He did the same things over and over again. Doesn’t that sound like a good definition of chores? Our work has value because we’re showing others they’re valuable and worth it by taking care of their needs.
Now that I realize how valuable work is for my kids, here are the things I do to keep them working without too much complaining. 🙂
- Expect a lot. Kids will accept whatever chores that you set up for them. Be confident and let them know what you expect of them. Make a list.
- Keep a regular schedule. After awhile of keeping a regular schedule, the list of chores you made really won’t be needed. My kids know that after breakfast is chore time and they do the same chores daily. They automatically do what they always do. It’s habit for them. I also don’t teach them new chores very often because it makes it harder for them and me! So they keep doing the same chores for at least a year before I even think about switching their chores or assigning them tasks they’ve never done.
- Praise kids for a job well done! Be specific about what they did well. “That sink looks really shiny! Good job!”
- Give them something fun as a reward for getting their work done. This works so well! It is my new favorite way to motivate my kids! They know if they get their chores and schoolwork done, they can look at their tablets. If all their schoolwork is done by Thursday night than we’ll go to the library on Friday. And, if a friend invites them over to spend the night on Saturday, and their chores and school are not done – they can’t go. I sympathize with them, and let them know they really do have to finish their work if they wish to do fun things!
Work can bring our kids future happiness. It gives them something deeper that satisfies. It’s a way to show love, and it gives people purpose because they’re doing something that is worthwhile! So, go assign those chores without guilt!