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“How to.. get children to do household chores,” Sunday Life, Sept 28, 2008

September 28, 2008

Sydney Clinical Psychologist Amanda Frawley says aside from the practical advantages of an extra  set of hands around the house, sharing domestic duties can also teach children a sense of responsibilitiy as well as introducing the idea of a positive work ethic.  The earlier the habit is initiated, the more likely it is to stick. As long as the whole family is involved, even preschoolers can be designated tasks around the house.

One of the ways to make them enthsiastic is to let them choose from several activities, as long they aren’t beyond their age and skills. A six year old will be able to stack a dishwasher better than a three year old.  The more likely a child is to become frustrated with a task, the less likely they will want to do it again.

Praise is important too. Children need to feel as if they have succeeded. So be sure to compliment them in a job well done. As children grow older, a pat on the back may no longer be enough to keep the chore train on track and offering money may help as puberty looms. Most importantly it should never be a case of  ”Go do your chores”.

Success lies in making it a group activity along the lines of  ”OK it’s job time”.  Interactivity is a valable tool here, as children generally enjoy doing the things that adults are doing, even including folding laundry or making a bed.