Ready to get your kids excited to do chores around the house?
It’s often an enormous challenge to get your kids motivated to help out around the house, much less get them excited about it.
But we need to teach our kids to help out, to teach them the value of hard work and money.
And it’s proven that kids actually WANT to help and they feel immense satisfaction the same way that we do when we have a clean house.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Chore Charts For Kids
- Why Children Resist Doing Chores
- Benefits of Chores for Kids
- How to Create a Chore Chart For Kids – That They’ll Love
Chore Charts For Kids
Recently I stumbled across a candy wrapper ripped apart and strewn across my couch.
“Liam,” I said sternly, “Is this where this wrapper goes?”
It was then I realized, I hadn’t taught my son proper responsibility. It wasn’t his fault. He wasn’t messy, rude, or disrespectful.
I’d been his servant from the day he was born.
Well no more.
AH HA moment.
That’s where the chore chart for kids comes in.
I wanted to start using a chore chart to teach my son to become more responsible.
In addition to teaching kid’s responsibility and respect, it also teaches children financial responsibility and shows them that money comes from work.
I can’t believe how many times I’ve tried to explain to my son why he can’t have that $100 toy.
Well, now he has some perspective. He is learning the value of money.
I want to first start by saying – my son LOVES his chore chart!
He is excited to do his chores and make some money. He asks me all day long what else he can do to help out.
He completes his tasks, and Wednesdays and Sundays are paydays.
We have three jars, one is for savings, (the accountant in me likes to encourage this) the other is for spending, and the final jar is for giving. (Buying presents for someone in need or simply a friend.) I’m attempting to instill into my son that money can also be used for good deeds. It’s not all for selfish purposes.
He grumbled at this idea, at first, but he’s warming up to the idea.
Why Children Resist Doing Chores
Kids will often resist housework, they want to have fun and play. They don’t want to *work* and especially work at tasks that provide no immediate reward.
Do you ever feel like your kids are self-absorbed and only concerned about themselves?
It’s okay. Your child isn’t the devil.
It’s normal. All kids are this way. It’s not part of their nature at such a young age to consider the needs of others.
At the Centre for Parenting Education, they state “Doing chores willingly requires: mature judgment, less impulsivity, and more awareness of others’ perspective. Children are not born with these traits; they develop gradually as children grow and mature. Part of your job as parents is to socialize your children during the 18 or 20 years that they live with you by helping them to develop these mature qualities. Therefore, it should not be a surprise, and perhaps you should accept and expect, that they resist helping at home.”
Benefits of Chores for Kids
Even though you may feeling like you are banging your head against a wall, or sounding like a broken record, encouraging your kids to participate in household responsibilities has numerous benefits for your kids.
Furthermore, research suggests that involving children in household tasks at an early age can have a positive impact later in life. “The best predictor of young adults’ success in their mid-20’s was that they participated in household tasks when they were three or four.”
Kids begin to view themselves as important contributors to the family. This brings connection and an increased sense of self. (and self-esteem)
One day your kids will leave the house, go to university or get a job, it’s important they know how to do laundry or unload a dishwasher. These are basic life skills.
Don’t get caught in this trap:
Doing too much for your kids and expecting nothing back.
Teaching kids about chores, finances, and responsibility is a skill they will continue to develop throughout their lives. But there are five ways you can make this fun, and get them started on the right foot.
How to Create a Chore Chart For Kids – That They’ll Love
1. Be a Good Role Model
Here’s the thing:
Your attitude is important in making chores fun for kids. It sets the entire tone of the household.
In Barbara Coloroso’s book, Kids Are Worth It, she states, “If parents do chores with a sense of commitment, patience, and humor, our children will have a model to do likewise.”
Encourage participation, young children especially love to help and they will feel like a contributing member of the family.
They are so limited in what they can do, it is a big self-esteem booster.
The size of the tasks (or if they are completed perfectly) doesn’t matter. It’s the trust, responsibility, and unity that chores foster that matters.
2. Pick a chore chart that works and set appropriate responsibilities
There are so many FREE incredible chore charts for kids to choose from around the net. Here are my five favorites:
Consider the age of your kids, their gender, and their personality. Would they like cartoons, or bright colors? Perhaps lots of visuals? Or are they older? Would they prefer something more serious?
Take some time to consider what chores you need help with and what life skills you would like your children to learn.
And don’t forget this:
Ask for input from your children…
…kids love when they have a say in decisions.
And hold family meetings to check how things are going. Revisit the chart and revamp things to make it flow better.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE copy of our chore chart here.
Whatever chart you use, make sure it’s simple for you to keep up with. And that it excites your little one.
Keep it simple.
The worst thing you can do is overwhelm yourself with pressure to stay on top of a chore chart that’s more complicated than deciphering a binary code.
3. Make Sure Chores Are Appropriate to Age
When choosing chores and setting expectations for your kids, you must remember their age limitations.
Kids who are ten can easily take out the garbage, but a toddler might be better equipped to only empty the washroom garbages.
A teenager can empty the dishwasher, but again a toddler might be better to help wipe the table after dinner.
See our chart below for a list of age-appropriate chores.
This is more about teaching your kids responsibility and the value of money, don’t expect a spotless house.
A younger child cannot be expected to pack their own lunch, but they can definitely help.
Be patient and set appropriate expectations.
You likely won’t be lounging on the couch sipping tea while your toddler makes your house sparkling.
4. Place chore charts in an accessible location.
Your chore chart needs to be placed where everyone can access it.
We have ours right on the stairwell wall on a big board that also lists our schedule for the month.
You could hang it in the bedroom, hallway, kitchen, or mudroom.
If you don’t want to use the hanging chore chart, use the cash cards and jars, they can be kept on a tiny bit of counter or dresser space.
And the most important thing:
Make this fun.
Perhaps each morning (quickly) review what your expectations are for the day. Keep it simple, fun, and loving.
Whether you feel chores are just a necessity of being part of the family, or whether you like the idea of an allowance, you will need to decide this as parents beforehand.
This is a personal choice, and you do have a few options,
- You can tie the chores to an allowance, or
- Use the chores to earn privileges, (like more screen time or a night out at the movies)
Personally, my son is motivated by rewards.
I do what works for him. He loves earning money and thinking of what fun toy or treat he will buy.
All the while learning about the value of money, responsibility, and being an active member of the family.
I do need to remind him at times, that no, he doesn’t get paid to do certain things.
My son now thinks he should get paid for every little thing he does.
I chuckle at this, but he is only 4 and this is a work in progress.
Nothing is ever perfect. But all in all, the benefits and lessons outweigh the nuisances.
Have fun and get creative. Even if your teen is much “too cool” for a baby sticker chart, they will still be motivated by a grown-up chart and a clear reward.
Finally, don’t be afraid to mix it up as you go. The same old chore chart might get boring, so try something new!
I hope you are convinced of the importance of chores in developing your children’s character. Remember to model how you handle your chores (without resentment and anger) and your kids will tackle their responsibilities with the same enthusiasm.
I’d love to hear your ideas below of how you keep your child motivated to do their chores.
Tina Williamson is the writer and founder of Mindfulmazing, a peaceful parenting blog that guides busy moms and dads to tune into what matters most, and, ultimately, create a happy life! Tina shares strategies and advice for raising responsible, mindful, and resilient kids.
In 2019, Tina created the popular eBook, “Mighty Mindful Kids,” a mindfulness activity book that helps kids with focus, emotional regulation, awareness, and connection. This helped so many families (including her own) that she created several printable resources for parents, teachers, and therapists.
Stay tuned for Tina’s Amazing Me Growth Mindset Journal for Kids being published in the spring of 2021.