Getting kids to help around the house can feel daunting — as you have done all the work for them for quite a long time now. But, getting kids to help more around the house can ultimately lessen your load, as well as give them confidence and appreciation for all that has to get done.
FYI, this post was originally written when I had just revised my kids job chart. My kids were ages 14, 10 and 5 and it was HARD to figure out jobs that everyone can feel like they’re competent to do, as well as actually help me out. Here’s my top 5 tips for kids jobs that will give you a good start!
If you really struggle with getting your kids to do chores around the house, I have a WHOLE chapter on it in my course Family Routines. I’ll go through the best ways to involve kids and make sure they follow through! I think you’ll love it — in fact, I guarantee it. Join for a month, or a year — you can cancel at any time — you can even save 10% with code PC10.
Tips for Getting Kids to Help with Household Jobs:
Ok, back to helping kids do chores at home:
Give Kids Confidence
Give them jobs they can feel good about doing. I tend to do jobs in areas they are in. They clean their own bathroom, they vacuum their own room. That way, they get to enjoy their job well done.
Let them Succeed
Give them age appropriate jobs to get done. There are a TON of kids job charts on Pinterest anymore, but make sure you’re giving them things they can actually get done.
You’re the Teacher
I like how Shawni of 71 Toes makes them pass it off before they’re competent to do it on their own. I have done that with larger jobs with my kids. One day, because no one seemed to “get” how vacuuming worked — I made them color in a mock-up that I made of their room with a wide-tipped marker to mock their vacuum strokes. It may have helped. Either way, I told them we’d do it again if it ever was done so shoddy. They improved after that.
What do YOU need help with?
Think about what YOU want done. I wanted help with bathrooms after we moved here, so I gave them those jobs. I still clean mine, but I gave up on cleaning all 3. They now help out. As they should!
You’ve gotta go back and make sure it’s done how you want it. My kids will do the LEAST amount of work possible, if given that option. I just don’t give them the option anymore. Sorry kids. My way or the highway (or, if you read my allowance post, you know they’ll lose out on funds if they don’t do it how I want it).
Jobs I have my kids doing:
- Sorting laundry
- Cleaning the bathrooms (little kids do just the counter, bigger kids do the whole thing)
- Taking out the trash/recycling
- Cleaning out the car
- Changing sheets
- Cleaning our stainless steel and glass
I strongly believe your kids can do more than you think they can. And if they start-off not doing so well…
I have a whole podcast about what to do when you’re just mad at your kids — and that can happen when you feel like you’ve taught something and they do half the job. 🙂
I’d love it if you’d join me in my Practical Parenting class, let’s get going on making your home run a bit more smoothly:
Laura @ Little Bits of Granola says
My oldest turns 3 next month and for her 3rd birthday, she gets a “big girl chore chart”. Thanks for these tips!! I like the horizontal calendar format you use.
Laura, we had the magnetic chore chart for a long time. It’s super effective if you can keep up with it. What a great idea for a birthday present!
We have allowance for my daughter (she is almost 6) BUT she only gets her money if she does her chores without us having to ask her. So if we say you need to clean your room she doesn’t get her money. Her chores are cleaning the bathroom sink, cleaning her room, and putting away the silverware which she loves doing and usually does it in the morning before she even gets us up.
Yeah, our allowance runs the same way. I am considering when to start my 5 year old with it. She doesn’t really want/need money right now…
Have a question it is ok to put them on 3 chores for a kid it can be more or 3 it is enough? I have a 8 years girl and 6 year son and my son really don’t want to help anything but I have to let them know they need to help for good! I really like your ideas.,,, thank you that’s help me and give me kind of what to do.
I think it depends on the chore, I bet you’ll figure it out!
Do you have an editable version of your kids job chart? I too have three kids and my chores are very much like yours.
I have one here: http://www.pullingcurls.com/2015/08/childrens-daily-task-checklist.html — hope that helps!
Maria Shaw says
Hey Hilary, I have been having a hard time getting my 5 year old to start doing his chores. He does not seem to understand that when the chores are done, he gets his allowance. Most of the time, he picks up on the chores that he is suppose to do, but I have to remind him to do it. I am sure that he is just being a child and I am sure that he knows what he is suppose to do, but he just doesn’t like to do them. I have tried to bribe him with candy, but that didn’t work. I have tried to be mean to his, but I can’t do that. I have even tried to get his siblings to tell his to do them, but that didn’t work either.
Hilary Erickson says
Man the key is always being consistant. You might like my course family routines: https://www.pullingcurls.com/family-routines/