There’s a time to play and a time to work. But as parents, we often have a rough time trying to teach our kids how to take some responsibilities and get them to do their chores. So here are some nifty little tricks that show them that hard work can be fun and even educational. And If they try to negotiate with you to get out of doing these fun chores, just remember the one crucial rule all parents know: we don’t negotiate with terrorists!
1. HAGGLE FOR THEIR COOPERATION
Getting your kids to do things is like negotiating a peace treaty. Essentially, it’s a game of give and take. So hold something that’s dear to them hostage. That way they’ll be more motivated to complete the chore in order to get that privilege back.
2. COMPETITIVE CHORES
Chore-time is a lot more fun when you turn it into a contest with the potential for a reward. All you need to do is create a chart and reward your kid or kids with a gold star. And whoever gets the most stars by the end of the week gets a toy or can go see their favorite movie. Appeal to their greed, and watch how these little green monsters start earning those stars!
3. TURN CHORES INTO A SCAVENGER HUNT
If you want your kids to clean the house or their room, then hide small prizes and give them clues for them to follow. In the process of cleaning each section of their room, or an area of the house, they’ll find a small prize.
4. TEACHABLE CHORES
Turn a chore into a teachable moment like showing them what it takes to make plants grow while they help you out in the garden. If you want them to walk the dog every day, explain to them why this is essential to keep the family pets physically and emotionally happy.
5. THE WORST ALTERNATIVE
If they tell you they don’t want to do a chore, offer them an alternative that’s even worse, so that they’ll choose the original chore you assigned for them. Sounds easy, but careful! Eventually they’ll be onto you and you won’t be able to use this anymore, so don’t go overboard. Make sure that the alternative is really, really bad! Go ahead and use your imagination! Only you know what works best on your kids.
6. USE AN APP TO MOTIVATE
There are lots of apps out there that can motivate your kids to do their chores by providing them with points and stars for each task they complete around the house like Chore Monster, which is free, and Chore Pad, which charges you $4.99.
7. ROLL THE DICE FOR PICKY EATERS
If you have a kid that hates eating peas, spinach, or asparagus, get them to roll the dice. The number of bites they’ll be forced to eat will depend on the number they roll. At the very least, it will give your kid some control over this unpleasant situation.
8. LEAVE FUN REMINDERS
Sometimes the best way to get kids to do their chores, even if that includes personal hygiene, is to make it fun, and nothing says fun better than a bunch of funny or cute reminders to encourage them to get things done.
9. SHAME THEM PUBLICLY
If all else fails, shame them publicly! Sure, some of you might be shaking your heads and saying that this is a bad parenting technique, but if it works, who are we to argue?
10. PAY THEM TO DO IT
Of course, you could always try a different tactic like paying them to get things done around the house. Giving them an allowance for each chore done teaches your kids how to work for their money and in the process, manage their finances. But don’t pay them for every little thing they do to help around the house. Rather make a list of all the chores you expect them to do, and then offer them an allowance that teaches them that hard work sometimes leads to compensation.