Here are a few thoughts on how we can use August to get kids helping more around the house. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to try something new….
- Hold a family meeting to divide up all the household jobs. Try to model your enthusiasm for all the contributions you make to the family – earning money, driving to activities, cooking, etc. Expected contributions can be posted for all family members.
- Avoid reminding! This is a hard habit to break for many parents. Kids that tend to need to be nagged to do chores also tend to need reminders for schoolwork. Try something like this, “Please have your room cleaned up before soccer practice tonight." Giving future deadlines helps avoid the classic power struggle of “do it now."
- Apply consequences for missing chores with empathy. Sometimes, children have to repay parents with money or by doing extra chores. And, sometimes, we don’t have enough energy after completing the kid’s chores to drive them places or buy stuff for them. How might this work, “I’m so sorry that I won’t be driving to soccer practice this evening. I used all my energy completing your unfinished contributions this afternoon.”
These ideas are based on Love and Logic Parenting. I have taught this parenting program to hundreds of parents who have learned how to have fun with some of these ideas while improving their relationships. Love and Logic has been helping parents raise responsible kids for nearly 40 years.