Assigning certain chores for your child to complete can teach him responsibility and accountability. Creating a checklist of his chores can keep him on track and help aid as a reminder of his obligations. When a checklist is paired with praise and proper motivation, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting your child to pitch in around the house.
1. Choosing Age-Appropriate Chores
Assign chores based on your child’s age. Young children should be assigned simpler tasks. For instance, your six-year-old can help you set the table, pick up his toys, straighten up his bedroom, help make his bed, empty waste baskets and clear dirty dishes from the table. Older children can handle more challenging tasks, like vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting, washing and folding laundry, washing dishes, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, scrubbing the bathtub and cleaning the toilet.
2. Chore Checklist Chart
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests specifically defining and writing out your child’s responsibilities so there is no question of what is expected of him. Create a chore checklist chart for him to follow. Assign your child certain chores for each day of the month or one list of chores that must be completed each week. Offer a sticker to put next to each completed chore, for younger children, or allow your older child to simply cross the chore off when it is finished.
3. Realistic Expectations
Be realistic with your expectations. A child going to school needs time to focus on doing homework, as well as blowing off steam. Giving him an endless list of chores may prevent him from focusing on the important aspects of being a kid. A younger child can be expected to do one or two small chores a day. An older child can be assigned three or four smaller chores a day or one or two larger tasks, as long as they don't interfere with his schoolwork.
4. Rewards and Consequences
To motivate your child, you can offer him a reward for his completed chores. Praise is a great way to reinforce his efforts. When you see him complete a task, especially without being told, say something positive about it. In addition to your words, smiles, high fives and pats on the back for a job well done, consider giving him an allowance. KidsHealth suggests offering your child $0.50 to $1 for each year of age. Be consistent and always pay up on a designated payday. For an unmotivated child, you may need to establish some consequences for not completing the chores on his chore checklist. For instance, take away TV or video game privileges for the evening if he refuses to do his chores.