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Getting Children to Help with Chores

Kids notoriously don’t like household chores. Heck, even some adults don’t! How do you convince your children to help out around the house and prevent whining, bickering, and overall detesting of the chores? Read on to learn more about how you can get your Knoxville home clean with the help of your kids.

Start them off young. Like many habits, getting them instilled at an early age is important. The easiest way to secure your children's assistance with housework is to train them to it from the time they are small. A one-year-old will giggle if handed a clean diaper to dust the legs of the furniture. However, even when you match the chore to the child, the early years require some extra work from you, but that’s okay. The short-term goal is to get the house clean; the more important duty is to teach your children to work. An investment in your child's learning now will reap abundant fruit in just a few years. Neglect this job, and you're walking into a lion's den once little ones are little no longer.

Don’t overwhelm them. Make changes gradually, involving children in chores slowly. This month, decide that one child will assist with pre-dinner preparation, the other help with clean-up. Next month, begin a Saturday morning family clean-a-thon. By the end of the year, teach the eldest child to do his or her own laundry, and put the younger child in charge of collecting newspapers, bottles and cans for recycling. By the following summer, teach them to help you weed and prune in the yard.

Let them pick. Children who are given a choice of chores do them better and more happily. While you may have to readjust your thinking on "who should do what", your children's choices may surprise you! One child might prefer vacuuming, while another doesn’t mind folding the laundry. Think about you as an adult—some chores you simply detest over others. Now realize kids think the same way!

Make it a team effort. The best motivator for young people is a chance to work together with an adult. You'll get more cooperation from children of all ages when the family does housework together. Resist the temptation to splinter out cleaning chores. From a child's point of view, it's downright lonely to be sentenced to clean a bathroom each afternoon after school.

Remember: chores will always exist and need to be done. How you make the process easier for you and your family is in your control. Use our tips and good luck!