I wanted to motivate my children to help with the housework, so I decided to make a game of it. I wrote chores on index cards, one per card, and spread them upside down on the kitchen table. All chores were within my children's abilities, and none took more than three to four minutes to complete.
One chore card read, "Put old socks on your hands and dust the living room furniture." I was careful not to include extensive chores like, "Vacuum the whole upstairs." I also included fun tasks, such as: "Sing a song to the baby"; "Set the timer for three minutes and draw a picture"; "Hug someone"; "Do a somersault"; "Ask Mommy for a treat." The children were eager to draw a card, do the chore and hurry back for another card in hopes of getting a fun assignment.
While my children "played" this game, I did the chores that required adult attention. When all the cards were done, we rewarded ourselves with homemade smoothies.
The next time I announced, "It's time to clean the house," my children asked, "Can we use the chore game?"
Download these chore cards to get you started!
Along with regular required chores, I added "honor chore" to my children's chore chart. For their honor chore, they look for something that needs to be done and then do it. I hope they will eventually tackle needed chores without being asked, and this is one way to train them.
This article appeared in the March/April 2012 issue of
Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Marcia Hornok.
Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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