Tips to engage the kids in house chores…

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Start ‘em early
The younger you get the kids on board with helping out, the better: they should grow up used to the idea that keeping the house clean is the entire family’s responsibility. Give little ones age-appropriate tasks. For example, if my daughter Sienna can take her shoes to her room each day after day care and not just leave at the front door, where I can trip over them, then I’m happy. Break a large job down into specific tasks.

Invest Training Time
If you want something done right, you’re going to have to do a lot of supervising. Don’t expect kids to do a job adequately without a lot of up-front help from Mum or Dad, and even then, expect backsliding and slacking off from time to time. If there are certain tasks you need to have done a certain way, don’t delegate those. For example, in the absence of a good cleaner, I clean the bathrooms myself because it’s worth it to me to have it done “right”.

Stick to a System
This is a tip from one of my friends. If your kids know that every single night one washes and the other puts away, it becomes a predictable routine and they really will stop complaining…eventually. Mix things up for a few days or give them a break and just watch them act amazed and confused next time you ask them to do something. Kids do best when they know exactly what’s expected of them, and mums are happiest when they don’t have to repeat themselves over and over. Don’t make delegating hard on yourself: come up with a simple, predictable routine that’s easy for kids to remember and easy for you to oversee.

Have Fun
Tidy up the house with Music. It works.

Routine/Reward
After much frustration and screaming on my part trying to get my kids ready for school/ day care and then ready for bed at night time, I sat down and and thought how am I going to fix this. I had a good look round on the internet and chatted to my mummy friennds, and came up with a two pronged effect that works beautifully.

I explained to my children EXACTLY what I expect in the morning, and at night (this really applies to my 6 year old rather than my 3 year old), ie make bed, get dressed, lunch box in bag and school bag at front door. At night time, its PJs on, teeth clean and toilet time. So when I say its bed time, my son knows exactly what this means rather than me explaining it over and over again. This wouldnt work at all if it wasnt backed up with a reward chart. (I downloaded the free reward chart from the Supernannys website). When my son performs his morning and night tasks without me having to say it more than once, he receives a point. After 10 points he’s rewarded with a little toy.

I cant begin to describe how successful this has been.

Good Luck.

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