Whenever there’s a mundane task we need to do, it’s common to call it a “chore,” meaning it’s a hassle. But chores are actually essential in maintaining a livable space. Here’s how you can encourage your kid to do chores and what kind of chores they should learn.
Encourage Your Kids
Let’s face it; it’s not easy encouraging children to be more proactive with household chores. We all see that coming, and the challenge is encouraging them to take their fair share of work around the house. Here are a few tips to encourage them.
Have a Chores Schedule Board
When there’s a schedule that shows everyone’s responsibilities and when to do them, it feels a lot easier to follow. For one, they understand that everyone is doing their part. Secondly, it does the job of reminding them- removing the need for you to constantly bark orders.
Give Them Extra Cash (if They’re Older)
It can be quite challenging to motivate kids into doing mundane chores. Still, an effective and common way to do it is to incentivize them with an allowance after accomplishing tasks around the house. It might sound a bit negative to some parents to encourage children to do chores only in exchange for money, but in truth, it’s not just about cash. This is also an opportunity to teach the young ones how to save up and responsibly handle funds.
Teach Them How to Do It
We adults didn’t always know how to do all the things we know now. There were always people who guided us along the way, be it our parents, mentors, or even a random person who uploaded a handy guide on YouTube.
Chores may seem straightforward, but that’s only based on our point of view as experienced adults. Children need step-by-step instruction to be able to successfully finish a task. For example, in the case of folding laundry, many of us wish we knew how to effectively fold a fitted sheet sooner than randomly finding it out on a KonMari video.
The Best Chores to Teach First
Here’s a shortlist of the most appropriate chores your kids should learn. Of course, situations will vary depending on the household, but this is a good standard to go by.
- Doing the Dishes. Though dishwashers are the norm now, it can come as a surprise to children that college dorms don’t come with a complete set of appliances. It could stump them when they’re left with just a sponge and some dishwashing liquid on top of a pile of dishes.
- Hand Washing their Clothes. Just like doing the dishes, we can’t always guarantee that there will be a washing machine or a laundromat nearby once our child sets out on their own. Plus, it helps them start the habit of doing chores. Ask them to wash smaller pieces of cloth, especially ones they like to play with. It teaches a sense of ownership and responsibility.
- Ironing and Folding Clothes. And because they already know how to wash their clothes, the next step is to teach them how to iron and fold their clothes properly. On this note, it’s best to teach washing, ironing, and folding clothes to older children. Ones that can handle both the responsibility and have the mobility to do them safely.
- Vacuuming and Dust Management. It’s easy to feel complacent when you’ve just vacuumed, and the room looks as clean as clean can get. This complacency can last a few days. By then, the dust has already accumulated again, and cleaning up might trigger allergies. It’s best to instill the habit of dusting and vacuuming daily, even if the room looks clean. Also, remember that dust mites lurk on rarely touched surfaces and crevices, so be sure to teach the kids to clean up those areas as well.
- Basic Organizing. This is a crucial skill to teach children because it carries over to adulthood, where important bills and documents mixing in with spam mail can spell disaster. Being organized goes a long way, and they’ll learn to carry it outside of just house chores.
- Teaching Them When to Call a Professional. It’s far better to call for residential plumbing services than to try to fix pipe problems, and even that is something your children should learn. Teach them whether something is out of non-professionals’ hands and when it’s best to call the pros in.
Basic housekeeping is something everyone should know. It’s a mark of independence, and it allows an individual to function well in society as an adult. An unkempt house can cause unnecessary stress, while a tidy house can be a sanctuary one can come home to every day.