Now that it’s summertime, and your kids are off from school, they can keep up the house while you’re away at work, right? Well, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. When school’s out, most kids see summer as a time to bask in the glow of sunshine and laziness. In all reality, your house will actually become messier due to your children being home all day. Envision the lunch residue in the kitchen, unkempt beds from an 11 a.m. wake-up and dirty laundry from endless hours of outside play. Don’t fret though – and you do not need to hire some expensive maid service. Here are some helpful tips from IKO Community Management for how to raise children who love doing their chore, especially during summer vacation:
- Toss out the word ‘chore.’ If you want your kids to start taking out the trash, first throw away the word ‘chore.’ It has a negative connotation in their mind and decreases motivation almost instantly. Try using ‘task’ or simply ask them to do what you need done. Chances are they’ll be more responsive.
- Make it a game. If you have younger kids, turn chore time into a mission or challenge. Ask if they can unload the dishwasher in less than 5 minutes without breaking anything. Can they water the plants and clean the glass before the laundry is done? If children have incentive or competition, their motivation will skyrocket, which brings us to the next point…
- Reward, reward, reward. Think about it: you get paid to do your job 9-5, so why shouldn’t your kids be rewarded for doing their jobs? Use stickers, allowance or candy to entice your children, but make sure you follow through with it. Children like to have their good deeds noticed, and they enjoy goodies, so it’s a serious win-win.
- Add yourself to the chore chart. When kids feel like they are being treated equally and fairly, all is well in the world. If you have a chore chart full of their names and various to-do tasks, try putting your name on there, too. You can add a personalized to-do list, but adding your name is a good way to keep an even playing field. Also, when you check off your “chores,” they’ll want to check theirs off, too, so you set a positive example.
- Be reasonable. Set attainable expectations for your children depending on their age and maturity. The tasks should mirror the abilities. Children 2-3 years old should begin with picking up their rooms, including putting away toys and placing dirty clothes into a hamper. Elementary school should mark the time of clearing the kitchen table and using all-natural cleaning supplies to wash the glass or dust the shelves. Middle school kids should learn how to take the trash out, organize (not just clean), and vacuum.
Note: These are benchmark suggestions. Parents should assign their children chores based on their comfort level.
Doing chores is similar to working out, especially in the summer. No one really wants to do it, but it has to be done. Truthfully, a thorough cleaning should not take more than a couple hours (ironically, a good workout takes the same amount of time), but summer is a time for relaxation, so don’t stress yourself out thinking about your dirty house. Do not give in to hiring that cleaning service or worry about asking your kids 3 or 4 times to clean their bathroom. Instead follow these simple tips, and enjoy a warm, tidy season. From all of us at IKO, have a happy summer!