Ministry of Education, Guyana

How to Motivate Kids to Help Out Around the House

Kids often leave behind a messy trail from dirty laundry to broken crayons. Getting your child to clean up that mess or help out with other household tasks isn't always easy. A little motivation can help get your child moving on her duties around the house. Getting her to help out teaches her responsibility and takes part of the workload off your plate, leaving more family time for everyone. With a little effort, you can find the combination of motivators that works best for your child.

Write a list of chores that your child needs to do. Knowing exactly what you expect may motivate him to clean more. If you constantly throw new tasks at him, he may feel as if the work will never end. Choose chores that are age-appropriate so your child can handle them.

Set aside time for the whole family to do chores. If everyone is cleaning all at once, your child may be more likely to join in willingly. Cleaning while others in the family are lounging or doing something entertaining is not motivating. A set chore time also reduces the battle to avoid the tasks.

Use a timer to get your child moving. The timer gives a specific parameter for getting a task done, leaving little room for negotiation or avoidance.Tell your child exactly what she needs to complete and how long she has to do it. Set the timer for the specified length of time.

Break tasks into smaller sessions if your child doesn't have the attention span to do it all at once. Give him a list of a few tasks he needs to complete before he can take a break. Let him have a short break tell him exactly how many minutes he has before getting back to work. The idea of having a break to do something enjoyable is often a motivator.

Turn housework into a game so it doesn't seem boring.If you have more than one child, turn cleaning into a contest. See who can collect the most trash or dirty laundry, for example.

Help your child with chores to keep her moving. Rinse the dishes after she washes them, help her sort out the dirty laundry after she picks it up or clear the dinner table with her. This way, she gets the job done while spending more time with you.

Reward your child for his help around the house. Some families choose to connect allowances with chores. Others pay extra for work around the house. Another option is to use a sticker chart to track the chores he completes. He chooses a reward or special privilege after collecting a certain number of stickers.

Add more chores if your child whines or tries to avoid work. If she learns that her work will double, she may learn to stop whining and simply get to work.

Source: http://www.ehow.com/

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