This is a common problem among parents that often fuels frustration, fury and fights. But getting children to do their chores doesn’t need to be an uphill battle. For starters, don’t even call them “chores,” recommends child and teen development specialist Dr. Robyn Silverman. Call them “contributions.” Learn the four “Cs” to get the kids to help cheerfully.
In my home, we don’t have chores. We have family contributions. Family contributions make the family home run smoothly. Semantics? Not exactly! Chores feel like jobs-contributions feel like helping.
When we do our family contributions we get to do all the fun things that we have planned for the week. When we don’t do them, there are natural consequences. You don’t make your bed? No problem! But you can’t go to your friend’s house until you do. Toys not out away? Doesn’t bother me! But those coveted toys get put into an off limits box until your children are ready to put them back into their place.
If you want to use contributions in your home, don’t compensate for them. Compensation again makes them feel like work. You can, of course, still provide an allowance to your children. Just don’t connect it with what they do to contribute to your family household. You can pay them for work that they do above and beyond what is expected-like cleaning out the attic or organizing the pantry. After all, do your get paid for what your do at home?
Many children work best when everything is spelled out for them. A contract details what the children are being asked to do. How this helps the family and consequences for neglecting to do their contributions.
I believe all these C’s bring about a very important fifth C-character. And what parent doesn’t want to instill more of that in their children?