How do you persuade your kids to help with household chores?

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Lisa - posted on 07/08/2011

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AI don't persuade them, I tell them. I tell them, "Now we're going to put our laundry away." They have to haul it to their rooms and put it on their beds and then I come in and help them put it away. They also have to help set the table, take dirty dishes to the kitchen, make sure their dirty clothes go into the laundry room, and keep their toys picked up.
My older kids are 2 1/2 and 4 1/2. If they complain, I tell them if they don't want to keep their house cleaned, I can make it easier for mommy to clean.
It sounds means but it works in my house. We all live here together and we're all responsible for helping keep it picked up. I don't believe I should have to bribe my kids to do things. I don't believe in chores. When they're asked to do something, they do it.

1nitalove - posted on 07/21/2011

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Magnetized my kids names and chores to a red metal cabinet. I explained to them chores is teamwork. if you live here you have to pitch in. My kids do their chores in order to keep their privliges each week. I virtual home school so chores are a must and everyone has to put in their fair share. My kids ages are 5, 10, 12. They do a really good job too. I dont believe in paying for chores because I tell them that no one is going to pay you when you move into your own place. So in my house its not a choice...its a MUST or lose privileges.

Sal - posted on 07/08/2011

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i agree with lisa too, they just have to know that it is part of being in your family, and that everyone needs to take some responsiblity, and i just live with the fact that kids hate chores and it is my job to make sure they learn the importance of doing them

Tamara - posted on 07/08/2011

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I make a chore chat and this is what you do, We are a family we work and play as one.

I also explained to them that You can't cook with dirty dishes, cant clean the dirty ones with out the clean ones put away, So if you cant get to one with out the other. Then every week they rotate through them all.

As far as picking up after themselves, after getting some stuff they wanted tossed they got the picture.

I think the earlier it starts the better, that way they grow up with having a responsibility around the house, no matter the age expect resistance stand firm.

Good Luck

Suze - posted on 08/21/2011

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Don't tell them it's a chore? Okay...okay...that didn't work well, come to think of it. LOL! What I did was tape money to the 'chore,' such as a dime to each window to be cleaned or table to dust. Trust me, they tried to be the first ones to the chore to earn that money - as it was theirs to do with as they wished. And I had the cleanest windows in town! Grin....

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Sally - posted on 08/29/2011

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I don't persuade. I don't reward. I don't punish. I tell her it takes all of us to keep the house clean and we all do our part. We have been doing this since she was very little and it has worked well. She is almost 5 and mostly picks up without too fuss. If she is really really into something she will ask to leave it out for later. And we work with her as much as we can. She makes her bed & often when I get out of the shower, I will find she has made our bed too. We always tell her how nice her room looks or acknowledge a big clean up effort. but we don't say things like good girl, ect. In our house $$ is not tied to chores. We clean up because it is the right thing to do, not for the reward.

Ashley - posted on 08/28/2011

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I don`t persuade my son when it comes to chores. I don`t want to teach him to only do things for rewards, He needs to know that it`s just something you have to do. However, I do try to make it fun. Sometimes we have a race of who can pick up the most toys first. On days where he refuses to clean up his toys, He gets the tv turned off or he`ll go in time out for a few minutes. Keep in mind he is 3 so his only chore is tidying up his toys at the end of the day. Oh, & always praise your kids. They need to know when they are doing a good job. It encourages them to continue doing it.

Elizabeth - posted on 08/03/2011

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I don't persuade them. I tell them. They live here, they do their share of keeping the household. This may sound harsh, but how are they going to grow into adults that can keep their own home if we don't expect if of them even when their young. We have rules like, no games until the house is clean, no playing till beds are made, etc. As they get older they have specific jobs as well. For instance, my son knows that when the garbage is full it's his job to take it to the trash can outside and put a new empty bag in the bin. They also take turns helping with meals, though my son prefers making lunch and my daughter supper, so I usually let them do their preference. I think simply explaining what's expected of them is helpful. Hope this helps.

Rebecca - posted on 08/02/2011

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depending on how old they are give them an incentive after they have done that chore. i have teens and like Tamara Wilson said: after getting some things tossed around they get the picture .

Lady Heather - posted on 08/01/2011

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My kid is two so she is generally pretty eager to help. Ha. She unloads the dishwasher with me every morning, and "helps" with sweeping, vacuuming, de-furring the couch, meal prep and laundry. I find the more organized a system we create for her play things, the more likely she is to want to put them away. Since we got a new book shelf for her room she is all about making sure the books are all neatly put away all the time. She gets an allowance too, but she hasn't connected that to the helping. At some point I'll let her in on the secret. For now she just thinks it's fun to stick a quarter (or whatever random coin I have on me) into the piggy bank at the end of the day.

Megan - posted on 07/25/2011

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make it a game... my son is 1 and a half and he helps clean his room because we play as we do it... my mom would always make it a contest between the two of us ...who ever cleans there room first and dose it right gets to pick what we watch on tv after dinner....prizes always make it easier on kids

Keri - posted on 07/24/2011

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There has to be some sort of "reward" - whether it's actual money or some thing they've wanted. There's a financial radio host named Dave Ramsey who advises to give kids chores they'd be able to accomplish by themselves (clean their room, do dishes, etc.) and if the kid does everything they get $3 (1 to spend, 1 to keep/save, and 1 to give (to charity, church, etc.) or whatever amount you feel is good under the circumstances. Right now, our 4 year old sees us doing household chores and WANTS to help - then it's just a matter of figuring out what he can do and what I want him to do. He likes using our Swiffer Wet Jet to help clean the tile floors. Good luck!

Angelique - posted on 07/24/2011

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It depends. My oldest gets an allowance for certain things but other things knows he has to do because he's a part of this family and we all have to pull our weight to keep the house nice (these chores are putting his clothes away, making his bed, putting his dishes away, etc.). He gets paid to mow the yard, water the plants and anything else I consider to be helping his father or I out. The little ones (6 & 4) are required to pick to pick up their rooms and toys because there is a consequence if they make a mess and don't pick it up. But if they feed the dog/cat or help me unload the dishwasher I give them a quarter for helping. We put it in their savings container the bank gave us and when it fills up we take it to the bank, let the machine count the money and it goes into their savings account. Then they are allowed to spend a certain amount of money out of that, and tythe another. We have used sticker charts, chore charts, allowance at the end of the week, etc. but nothing has worked better than the immedate quarter in hand! lol

Mary - posted on 07/23/2011

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I tell the kids age 4 and three that it is time to pick up toys so we can find them later. I also explain to them that there are other kids who do not have any toys. that has helped me.

Carrie - posted on 07/22/2011

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My mom, basically, set the pattern for me. She had five children who continually wanted to "do stuff". She would say, "When the house is clean, we can go," and very slowly she would start cleaning. As we hopped from foot to foot she would suggest to us what we could do to "help her." Both the desire to help her with the added bonus of getting to go where ever it was we had decided for the day, got us moving pretty fast. A family that works together plays together. My dad, on the other hand, had a chore list to do after dinner. Since after that was homework and bed those chores took forever and never seemed done to his satisfaction so allowances were always docked and restrictions from fun abounded. So, raising my own five children I loved the way my mother handled it and modeled her approach. From the time they were young it was "fun" to help mom and I rarely had to clean without them pitching in. It wasn't until they were older that we introduced "allowance" to teach them the concept of 1/3 save, 1/3 charity & 1/3 spend (if they chose or save even more).

Housework, as we all know, takes self discipline. What makes OUR home "nice" to live in? What makes us "proud" of the job we have done well? What is the "goal"? We don't want a bunch of marching conformists. We want to teach our kids to do a job that needs to be done and take pride in it. We don't want our kids doing ANYTHING because they "fear" a reprisal. Fear doesn't motivate me to do anything but retreat and hide.

Amy - posted on 07/21/2011

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I'm mean I take the TV out of their room if they don't help clean especially if I'm working on their mess :)

Jessica - posted on 07/20/2011

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Postive encouagment, good job, it nice to help mommy thank you.Sometimes a reward.

Patricia - posted on 07/20/2011

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Sometimes we can be too harsh by just saying these are your chores and yur expected to do them....kids need visuals sooo I would leave notes of appreciation under their pillows....and always had a chart up in the kitchen for simple chores I knew the kids could help out with. :-)
I loved praising my kids...GOOD JOB!!....WOW!! Thats fantastic!!! I'm soooo PROUD of you!!! You didnt need to ask Mommy what to do....you saw something needed done and you took the initiative and did it!!! OUTSTANDING!!! :-) Praising our children I believe strengthens their self esteem thru life.... :-)

Heather - posted on 07/20/2011

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Make it a game. Set a timer and see who can pick up the most toys in 2 minutes, who ever wins give a sticker on their chore chart, but encourage both that they did a great job.

Michelle - posted on 07/19/2011

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What works for my family is a marble jar. They each have their own marble jar that they decorated (big vitamin container) and a big container for all the marbles (big ice cream container). I have a printout with all their names on it and what each chore is worth (how many marbles). I even have some stuff that aren't chores but stuff that I want them to learn like tying their shoes, potty training, memorizing address, etc. When their marble jar is full they get a certain amount of money based on their age.

After awhile I'll take off the chores that are 1 marble and those will be just general household tasks that they are supposed to do without getting paid. Then the chores that are worth 2, 3, or whatever will be less.

It sounds complicated, but really isn't. I've tried everything else, but it never worked for my four boys or for me. That way if they want a certain thing the more they do their chores the sooner they will have saved for it.

My older boys are saving up for a DSI XL. I can't afford it, but in a little over a year they should be able to afford it. I figure paying them for certain chores helps them learn to save money for things they really want and they will hopefully value what they bought.

I have a cousin who had his kids save money for whatever they wanted, when they had all the money they would pay half and their parents would pay half. They then put the rest of the money in savings.

If you are wondering how or what chores a younger child can do I have my 3 and 5 yr old dust. I put old socks on their hands and spray pledge on it and they go around wiping down what I have shown them. When their older brothers are vacuuming their job is to use the tools and get in the cracks and such. I also have them put their plates and cups next to the sink and dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

My older boys, 8, have different more age appropriate chores like sweeping and mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom counters, and such.

Good luck and don't stop getting your children to help. It is part of being a family as others have stated.

Isabel - posted on 07/19/2011

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My son is 3 almost 4 and he has chores, when he completes them he gets his allowance, he has a piggy bank and loooves to run right after his chores and put his money in his piggy bank so it motivates him to do his chores. When he doesnt do them, we dont give him an allowance and take his toys away until he does them.

[deleted account]

I agree wholeheartedly with Addie. Chores are not a job to be paid for, the payment is getting to live in a nice, clean house with clean clothes to wear and dishes to eat off of.

My boys are 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 and they both participate in household duties. My eldest sets/clears the table, helps with laundry (washing and hanging), puts his clothes away and puts away his toys at night. He also vacuums his room and helps prepare dinner (he can actually cook a basic meal on his own already). My younger son helps unload the dishwasher, washes school drink bottles by hand, helps with laundry and puts toys away. I started as soon as they were old enough to start taking toys out to play with... so crawling age (about 8 months old). If they were old enough to take it out, they were old enough to put it back. Thankfully, in toddler age (from about 18 months to 3 years) they love helping mummy, so I used that to my advantage in getting them into the habit of helping around the house. I taught them how to do different things and now they like to fight over who gets to vacuum!

There are times when they don't want to tidy up, but they have learned the hard way not to have me do it. If I clean up toys, I get a garbage bag out and they go in that, then into the bin! I only get to pick up one or two things before they stop me.

Chores are just the price you pay as a family. None of us likes to do housework, but we have to do it otherwise we live in squalor.

Dezzeray - posted on 07/17/2011

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I have a Ten year old who does chores with no complaining. What works well for me is that, I make and print 10 reward coupons with things that I know he likes, for example, he enjoys going to the book store, so a then make a coupon that says, free trip to the book store any day. Others coupons say, no chores for a week, get five bucks from mom, replace mom's dinner with outside food, dinner and a movie and etc... If he finishes his chores with in his hour during that week, he gets to pic a coupon out of those ten that I made with his eyes closed. I also give him allowance for cleaning and not complaining. For every hour that he cleaned that same day, I put on my chart chore a check mark, so by the end of his week he gets his coupon and also gets paid in allowance money! :) Hope this helped. Keep in mind it's all about making it fun and getting the job done!

Katrina - posted on 07/16/2011

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I tell her I need help and ask her to help me. She's 9 so I will take one room & give her something to do in another room. If she gets overwhelmed, we do it together. She also gets a dollar for different jobs & she keeps track of how much I owe her.

Addie - posted on 07/16/2011

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I know of several mother that rotate the toys. They leave about four or five toys out and put the rest away. Then six months later they swap them out. The children had forgotten about the toys that had been put away and were bored with the ones that they had been playing with. Sort through at Christmas, toss out any that are broken, and notice which toys are their favorite ones on Christmas morning. Put the rest away for rotation. Do it while they are sleeping or at school. They won't even notice which ones are missing. And they will be happy to see them again six months later.



How many toys you buy at Christmas depends on your finances. Set a budget for toys and stick to it. Just so many dollars for each child or toy. If they receive just one toy they asked for, they won't notice that one got a more expensive toy than the other. The best toy you can give them is playing outdoors. Try to purchase toys that are only for outdoor use that the whole family can use together. A batmition set, horseshoes, soccer balls, any anything else that will get them away from the TV and video games. Playing outside is great excercise and will help with the problem of obesity in children in this country.

Julie - posted on 07/16/2011

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i just showed mine how much fun it can be like singing little songs as you clean up or give little treats when they have picked up something and put it away

Christi - posted on 07/16/2011

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I need help with this one. I have tried what I think is everything... So any new suggestions would be great. What I have tried: paying them per job, taking away money when they don't, charging them when I have to do it (like toys), time outs, earning tv and computer time, taking away tv and computer time, earning a what ever you want to do day, taking away all toys and making them earn them back. Most of this is for just picking up the toys. I can get them to put away laundry, do the dishes, do the laundry, etc. I'm not even sure they really care about their toys. SO another question? How much is to much for toys? They only play with like 5 different things and even my oldest only play the computer and a couple legos. He got those taken away recently after the two months of him not picking them up. Should I just get rid of all of them except for the very few they play with. They really don't have that many toys to start with, I go through them every year. Then what about Christmas time? Buy or don't buy more?

Addie - posted on 07/15/2011

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I raised five children. It was never a choice. The only choice was mine. Was I going to teach them how to live right or not. I would let their rooms go just so long. Then on Sunday morning they had the choice cleaning their room, or I would do it for them. They opted just once for the latter. They found all their toys and clothes that were on the floor in the trash. Expensive lesson learned, but never repeated. I taught them to start in one corner and find three pieces of anything on the floor and put it away. Then three more. Once they got in the groove, the rest was clear sailing.



Come meal time, one put the plates on the table, one the forks, etc. Eventually they learned what had to go on the table. If one of them forgot the butter, sorry, no butter for supper.



My three boys learned how to do laundry, to iron and fold, and the girls learned how to take out the trash. They were all responsible to put their own laundry away. They all stood at my side and learned how to cook. They got to stir, peel, cut, mix and measure. (A great way to learn fractions) They all knew how to frost a cake and make cookies by the time they were ready to head out the door. But those treats were earned, not a given. They learned how to take a damp cloth and clean off window sills and switch plates. They learned how to clean the bottom half of windows. As they got older, they learned "commercial" cleaning. Every time a "commercial" came on during their favorite program, it was time to do some quick cleaning for three minutes. And they all had to take a turn cleaning the toilet bowl.



By the time they reached their teen years, I had very few battles with them. If their friends were waiting for them, they were allowed to have their friends help them so they could get out the door quicker.



Housework is not a game to be played with children. It is a responsibility of the parent to teach the child. Stand at the side of the child why he is learning so you can correct him. Show him the right way first. And don't get taken by them doing it wrong so they can get out of it. After the fourth time of having to do the same chore, it will be done right on the fifth time.



I will never forget the time my youngest when he was three, and I told him it was bedtime. He got up and started to put his toys away without being told!!! Be still my heart.



Your first job as a parent is to protect your child. The second job is to teach. You teach them to walk, talk, feed themselves, go up and down stairs safely, how to cross the street safely, etc. It takes a lot of patience, But now is the time to teach your children the responsibilities of being a member of a family.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/15/2011

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My son is three and I made up a songs. I have one song for picking up toys, another for taking a bath and brushing teeth. As far as actual chores, he isn't required yet but he does like helping me do dishes.

Tamara - posted on 07/08/2011

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Thanks for sharing Jennifer I have tried flylady in the past didnt quite mesh with my personality, never heard of housefairy always looking for new tips and ideas :D you rock

Jennifer - posted on 07/08/2011

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My oldest three have set things to do every day/week, and if they do it all without complaint they get $1 allowence to spend or save. That gives us a chance to teach them about money also. Then, of course they love for me to spend time with them whether it be playing the wii or jumping on the trampoline or walks, and I explain to them that if they help me get the work done, I will have more time to do those fun things with them. My kids are really awesome, and maybe a lot of it is their ages (7, 6, and 3. I have a 9month old, but of course she can't help with chores yet), but they get excited about helping out and even ask quite frequently if I have something for them to do.

Janeta - posted on 07/08/2011

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Depending on how small they are you can say something to the fact of lets help mommy clean the house, lets get it all clean for daddy! We need to make the house look nice and pretty! If they are older and understand the fact that your a family and thats just part of your daily routine dont bribe them tell them how its going to be and leave it at that! When they dont help then do what ever punsihment works best for you in your household

Sal - posted on 07/08/2011

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with little ones i find that they are keen to help (and usually no help at all) with older ones they really need to know they have to and that not doing them has consequences, some people swear by pockey money and paying for chores but that never consistantly worked with my oldest as he would do it when he needed cash for something but if not he couldn;t be budged, and now he has a part time job and makes his own money so i'd have no hope of getting work out of him, he has to be shown the result of not doing them, like if he refuses to feed his pets, i won;t serve his dinner, if he doesn;t keep his room clean during the week i make him get up early on sat and not go any where until it is done if his washing piles up in is room he has to wash ot himself on sat and can;t go out until it is done- ans seen as he is 15+ he is really keen to hang with his mates on the weekend, if he doesn;t put the dishes in the dishwasher he has to wash them by hand, it is still a struggle to get him to happily do it but it does work....and when i want things done quickly before going to town or leaving on a trip i bribe with maccas, on tuesday i wanted to leave by 9am, so told all the kids if we were out by 8 i'd have breakfast at maccas, they cleaned tidied, vaccumed put washing on the line were little machines and we got away at 7.50...amazing!!!!

[deleted account]

Depends on how old. My kids are in charge of picking up their toys because they are still young. I explain to the oldest how some of their toys their baby brother can choke on. I also tell them no tv if they dont help. When they get older they will have set chores. If they want to do things like go swiming, go outside, or watch tv then they must help.

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