Hi everyone! I’m so excited to have a guest post for you today by Crystal Paine from MoneySavingMom.com! Crystal Paine is a wife, homeschooling mom of three, and author of the brand-new ebook, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life. Today she’s sharing on ways to get your children excited about doing their chores!
1. Let Them Work Alongside You
Most children love to spend time with Mom, no matter what it is you’re doing. So take advantage of this and enthusiastically invite them to help you with whatever chore you’re working on.
While you’re working together, talk, sing, laugh, and praise them repeatedly for helping you. Let them see you working hard and enjoying it. Modeling a strong work ethic in front of your children can have a profound impact on their view of work — which could take them far in life!
Remember that young children often won’t be able to do their chores anywhere near the level of perfection. But if you’re patient and continue to work alongside them, praising them and helping them to get it right, they’ll eventually be able to do the job well.
2. Make it Fun!
Who says housework has to be dull and difficult? Find ways to turn it into a fan activity and your children just might be begging to do more chores!
We love to turn on a fun CD, like one of the Wee Sing albums or this Children’s Scripture Memory CD, to keep us moving at a fast pace. There’s something about upbeat music that just lifts the mood and makes cleaning more enjoyable!
My friend, Stephanie, who blogs at Keeper of the Home shared this great idea:
“In the last few months, my kids and I have been having what we call ‘cleaning parties’. We write up a list of things that need to be done on our kitchen whiteboard (color-coded for each person’s duties), then we turn on lively music, set a timer for how long we estimate it will take us, and work like crazy! I usually give the little ones a few simple jobs to do on their own, plus some jobs that they do by my side. We always decide before we begin what our reward for our hard work will be (usually something like making chocolate milk or popcorn, watching a Little House or Planet Earth video together, doing a craft, etc.). I’m amazed at how well this positive approach to cleaning has been working for them!”
3. Have a Race
We often set the timer and have a race to see who can finish their chores first. Typically, I’ll offer an incentive to the winner: the first person done with their chores gets to have a snack or pick out which library books we’re going to read.
Another thing that has worked well is to race against the clock, instead of racing against each other. We’ll see how many things we can collectively pick up and put away within 10 minutes. When we all work together quickly, it’s amazing how much we can get done in a short amount of time!
4. Get Child-Sized Brooms & Mops
One thing that helps my children enjoy cleaning more is using child-sized brooms, mops, and dusting cloths. Sure, you have to invest a little money to purchase these, but the excitement they can generate are well worth it.
If you don’t have the money in your budget, see if Grandma and Grandpa could get them as a birthday present. My children got mops for Christmas last year and it was, by far, the hit present.
All the cousins spent the morning cleaning Grandma and Grandpa’s kitchen tile after the presents were opened! And their enthusiasm for using them still hasn’t waned!
5. Reward a Job Well Done
Working for a reward is always more motivating! Figure out what motivates your child and then use that as a reward. If you want to have your child work toward a larger prize — say a toy or DVD or a date with mom — you could create a reward chart for them to track their progress on and once they’ve successfully completed their chores for 20 days in a row (or whatever number you decide upon), then they get their reward.
Since our children are younger, we’ve found that instant rewards are more exciting right now. So, we have a standing rule that once all of your chores and homework is finished for the afternoon, you can watch a movie or have 30 minutes of iPad time. The best thing about this set-up is that our house is usually clean by mid-afternoon since movie time is something none of the kids want to miss!
Here are some more links on chores you might like:
Crystal Paine is a wife, homeschooling mom of three, and author of the brand-new ebook, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life. For more encouragement to get your life and finances in order, visit her blog, MoneySavingMom.com