The word ‘chores’ can be very off-putting when it comes to your kids. They need all the motivation they can muster to even pick up their socks from the floor and put them in the washing machine, let alone clean a whole room. So how do you go about motivating your children to perform their tasks? This requires some creativity that will eventually prove very rewarding. Depending on the age of the child, not all methods might work, but some of them will truly stimulate them to start thinking about the chores and, ultimately, going about performing them and leaving you with something less to worry about.
1. Start young, start small.
The younger you start teaching your kids about responsibility, the better. Talk to them about chores, explain to them why you are doing your own, and why they should do theirs. The early understanding of chores will be vital to their motivation in the future, and their willingness to continue doing them and readiness to do them when they leave the family nest.
Also, don’t immediately burden them with huge chores like thorough house cleaning. Start with something small, like organising their toys so that they are not always strewn about the floor. Proceed with more difficult tasks as time passes and the home cleaning education will evolve without them even noticing it – they will have no idea when they became able to go from simple tasks like going about the room with a vacuum cleaner to full-on carpet cleaning.
2. Turn it into a game.
Small kids get very creative when they play and they can do the same with cleaning if you give them the right perspective. Cleaning can be a game, yes – the basic definition of a game is an exercise done for fun and for a reward. Give your kid something to do, promise a lucrative reward at the end – it is that simple. If you have more than one child, then turn it into a competition: who can clean the best.
Bigger kids can also be involved in such a game. They may pretend not to care about games and to hate cleaning, but if you turn the home cleaning into a challenge, they will be involved. Give them a restriction and let their imagination run wild. Give them the opportunity to prove you wrong about hard cleaning duties, like oven cleaning or laundry. Teens love to prove others wrong.
Smaller kids love to play adults. They will always get swept up by the idea that they will grow up as long as they are able to perform grown-up tasks. Hence, give them just that opportunity. Give your son the manly task of cleaning up toys and rubbing that stain on the sofa with a moist microfiber cloth, or organising his clothes. Give your daughter the real housewife’s job of dusting, cleaning the floors and the cabinets.
If they need further stimuli to play adults, let them dress as such. You can even buy small uniforms so that they have a dress code while doing that job and this will get them much more involved. Give the son a butler’s outfit and the daughter a Victorian maid outfit, it will be both helpful and incredibly cute to look at!
At the end of the day, you don’t need to work too hard to motivate your children. If there is a fibre in their body that wants to help about the house, then they will be ready and willing with barely a nudge at the right direction. You just offer the right challenge and the right rewards and watch them go. Of course, do keep them away from heavy duty cleaners and detergents until they actually know what they are doing.