Getting Everyone to Help
If you wish your child helped out more at home, you’re not alone. According to research from Arizona State University, the four most common tensions about household chores include parents wishing kids would 1) clean their rooms;
2) pick up their dirty clothes; 3) put their dirty dishes in the sink; and 4) hang up wet towels. The same research study also found that kids between the ages of 6 and 18 do about 12 percent of household chores—leaving 88 percent to the parents. 1 How can you get everyone to help with household chores? Consider these ideas.
- Create a chore list: list all the chores that need to be done and when, and then divide family chores up between family members. Or create a job jar: list chores one by one on slips of paper, fold them, and put them in a jar. Then have family members choose a piece of paper and get to work.
- Set aside a time when everyone does chores together, such as a Saturday morning or a part of a Saturday afternoon. Explain that everyone will do chores at the same time and no one can do anything else until all the chores are completed. Encourage family members to help each other out to get chores finished sooner.
- Find chores that are age appropriate for your kids. If you have young kids, get a big feather duster and let your child dust. Or let your child set the table by placing the silverware next to place settings. For more ideas, view this short video.
- Older teenagers often do fewer chores than younger children because of more challenging schoolwork, more complex schedules, part-time jobs, and other demanding activities. Some parents allow their teenagers to do fewer chores as long as they keep their grades up and are involved in other activities. Other parents require their teenagers to continue participating in chores. However you feel about these commitments, and make your decision clear to your teenager.
Busy schedules—and uncooperative kids—can make it tough to make chores a family activity. But with some planning and persistence, you’ll soon be able to get everyone to help out. If you make doing chores a part of your family routine, and get all of your family members helping, you’ll get more work done, faster, and everyone will be happier because of it!
1. Lynette Summerill, “The Chore of Chores,” ASU Research (Summer 2001), http://researchstories.asu.edu/.