Getting Kids to Help With Chores (Without Nagging!)

Getting kids to help with chores (without nagging) can seem like a far-off dream, but it’s not. I want our kids to want to help out around the house.   That’s all there is to it.

I want them to do chores WITHOUT nagging them constantly to do them.  I don’t want to have to keep up with chore charts.   I don’t want to have to remind them every day.  I don’t want to have to yell.   Is that too much to ask? Ok, it probably is in this day and age, but these tips will make it all run much smoother. In the end, you will have kids that are helping out and you will be much happier because of it.

  • Be happy with what they do- don’t expect perfection.   You are not perfect and neither are your kids.  Set your bar high (a sheet thrown on the bed in a ball is not “making the bed” but don’t expect perfection.   If you do, you will have a struggle on your hands for years to come.These tips will help to give you and your children a more normal routine and positive outlook on everyday chores
  • Start a chore LIST for each child with specific chores for them to check off on a daily and weekly basis.
  • Give your kids allowance and let them use it.  You can put together a chore board with the chores listed and amount of money they receive once the chore is complete. The kids can take a chore to do and then turn in ticket for reward.  This is done AFTER their normal list is completed.  I want our kids to know that we help out because we are part of the family, but if they want to do more, I will reward them by paying them for their time.
  • Have a list of 3-4 chores that have to be accomplished each morning before they get time with technology.   You can print this no-screentime until chart. 
  • Determine a reward system that works. This may be money, points, stickers, etc. Once you decide, commit to the system.
  • Stop doing the chores for your kids. Many times are kids just expect that we will clean things up, so when we stop it will help them to have the space to step in.\
  • Be consistent!   If you kids aren’t expected to do their chores and no one is following through to be sure that they are done, they will just ‘ignore’ the chore until someone else (Mom or dad) does it for them.
  •  Tell them that you appreciate it. lGiving your child praise WHILE they are doing their chore will encourage them to keep the good work!   Even if they aren’t doing it perfectly, I like to say “Oh!  I love how you are working really hard to do a great job.  Thank you.”  If they weren’t doing a good job before, they will because they know that you are watching and appreciative.
  • Set a timer and turn on some music and have everyone do a 10 minute clean up of the house.
  • Start a Saturday morning chore tradition. When everyone takes an hour together, things can get cleaned up quickly!
  • Put together cleaning baskets for the kids to grab when it is time to clean so they don’t have to spend half the time finding what they need.
  • In the summertime, we make it a little more interesting.  We write down all the chores and then split them up or put them on popsicle sticks and have the kids draw a couple chores for the week.
  • Supervise the chores at first. Before I give our kids their chores, I walk them through them.  I do a few WITH them (they are doing them while I am supervising).  I just want to be sure that I don’t have to go back over the chores and re-do them.   They need to be done correctly to save everyone time, so we will have more time to play!  ( This is what I call the “when-then” technique… “WHEN you finish your chore, THEN we can go to the park!”)
  • Go easy with reminders and deadlines. You want the chore to get done without you micromanaging it. Pantley recommends the “when/then” technique. For example, say, “When the pets are fed, then you may have your dinner.”
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