Getting Kids to help with chores without DRAMA

Jennifer - posted on 02/06/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )




I have two little girls who do like to help out but when you tell them they need to clean their rooms or make their beds it is like the world as they know it is coming to an end. Could someone please give me some ideas for helping me to get them involved with smiles instead of drama.


Debbie - posted on 03/29/2013




So many charts are a quick fix and then fizzles, but I found a program that actually worked for many years. It is simple for the parent and fun for the children. It is an adaptation of the token economy where children earn tokens for good behavior. It is highly evolved and carefully explained with step-by-step "battle plans" for sucess. As a frustrated mom with high strung and strong-willed children, I had lost the joy in Motherhood. So when I found the book called: From Combat Zone to Love at Home: The Happy Face Token System I was intrigued. It was just what I needed. I call it the ultimate parenting surivival manual for frustrated parents and it comes with a parenting survival kit CD with print ready charts as well as a parenting class that discusses the book and program. With the happy face token system children will give happy first time obedience while calling you the best mom in the whole world! I didn't believe it until I tried it. With the 30 day guarantee that is offered with my purchase, it was worth the try. It worked like a charm. The first time I tried using it, I had explained the family rules: I want you to come the firsttime I call and I want you to ask me what you can do for me. (That's what I always wanted, but never got!) So I tried it. I called.. I need help....All the children came running and said, "What can I do for you Mommy?" I was shocked! I was so happy I said, "Oh, nothing. I just wanted to see if you would do what I asked you to do! Each of you may have 1 happy face token just for doing that. They clapped their hands and said, Oh thank you mommy, you're the best mommy in the world! There are lots of adaptations given in the book and ideas in case things run dry, but believe me the children will want to use the program so they will keep you on the program. It seems to have a built-in consistency factor that gave me the credibility I needed to mean what I said. No more empty threats! The children earn tokens and then cash them in for things on the uniquely different Reward List. They don't earn things, they earn "rights" i.e. the right not to feed the dog for 1 day, the right Not to make my bed, etc. You've got to try it to see it. Here is a link or two for finding joy in your journey of motherhood. Good Luck!

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Viki - posted on 02/07/2010




i have 3 children and i usually find that putting some music on and turning it into a game helps. try getting them to dance while they do it or a game like i bet u cant do this that fast or who can put away the most toys. also try asking them what they want to do, some children like to vacuum and some children like to pick things up. its just about trying to make it as fun as possible really, dont make it a chore and they will enjoy it

Tracey - posted on 02/07/2010




One thing that worked in my house was when my kids wanted a kitten, I said they had to prove they could take care of their rooms before they could take care of a living animal, then when we got the cats they had to keep their rooms tidy in case the cat choked on a small toy.

User - posted on 02/06/2010




Make it more specific, and make it into a game, so rather than saying tidy your room, say, how many toys can you put away in 2 minutes? Then, how many clothes can you put in the laundry basket in 1 minute? It makes it more fun and less confrontational.

Rebecca - posted on 02/06/2010




hi iv had this problem with my children and what i have done is made a reward chart and every time they clean their room or fetched their dirty clothes down i would put a sticker on the chart next to there name,and at the end of the week i would reward them with spending money or i would buy them a toy.But if they didnt get all the stickers at the end of the week i would only reward the child with the most stickers.I hope this was helpfull to you i know it does work cause work,

Brandis - posted on 02/06/2010




This is one of those questions where something different is going to work for every family. Think about your kids and what motivates them and what you're willing/able to keep up with. Sticker charts work great for chores, but only if the kid likes stickers and if the parent is committed to keeping up with it. There's a program out there called the House Fairy that people swear by, but I'm not willing to use it because I don't condone lying to my kids (that's just my opiniong- but check it out, try searching house fairy online). You could give a small allowance or let everyone choose something fun to do if they do all their chores for a month. If your kids are still really young (it's the best time to start- the second they start walking) just make it fun and praise them when they help. It goes a long way! I have a 16 month old who puts his own dishes in the sink when he's done because I make a HUGE deal about it. He also helps me unload the dishwasher and cleans up toys (with help and encouragement). My 3 year old also unloads the dishwasher, puts her own dishes in the dishwasher, folds laundry (easy stuff like washcloths), runs the stick vac, helps me dust, and cleans up anything that is her own mess (spills, her dirty clothes, her toys, etc). I think the key is that from day one you make them clean up anything they cause (with help from you when necessary, but they do most of it). If you start out cleaning up for them and then suddenly insist them do it themselves then obviously they're going to balk. This is not only important just so you don't have to do everything (hence saving your sanity), it also makes kids more independant and feel more like an important part of the family, makes them feel important and empowered, and will aid in other areas of their life. For example, when I went to potty train my daughter the program I used required the child to clean up any mess they made themselves (pottying on the floor and such). Most kids would have not done this willingly because in the past mom cleaned up on the messes. It didn't bother Izzy at all- she just cleaned her accident up.

Natalie - posted on 02/06/2010




My son (4) has a chore chart. He has to make sure everything on there is done every single day.
And if he does, he gets to pick out an activity for the next weekend.

He also loves to help me clean when i'm cleaning. He asks me "Can i help" so i give him the broom and he can sweep. Encourage it, when your kids do wanna help and always tell them what a great job they're doing. We all like to hear it :-)

[deleted account]

How old are they? If they are old enough then, Mrs. Howard's post is an excellent idea. Life is work, and teamwork makes it easier. The sooner they learn this the better. There are different ways to handle this. Personally when I tell my child to do something she does it, because I spank for disobedience. However there is another way to teach a lesson. If they are old enough, I would do this. About 30 minutes before lunch, give them some chores to do. If they refuse or give you trouble, say "okay I guess I won't do my chores either", and then don't make them lunch. Sit down and each lunch yourself. Then have a talk with them about what would happen if you stopped doing all of your chores, and explain to them that teamwork is important in helping a family run efficiently. Then have them go do their chores, and afterwards eat lunch, and make a big deal on how you all got your chores done like a team.

Tracey - posted on 02/06/2010




They don't do chores. neither do you, stop washing their clothes, driving them places, making dinner. This should bring them round fairly quick.

Kate - posted on 02/06/2010




I have four children...17,16,10, and 8. I post a chores list on the wall, each job has a number and then I have another chart that describes in detail what to do when you have that number for the day. Once a week each person has a "Free" day. This lets the kids know what is expected of them each day and they can look ahead and know what is coming up. I get the most drama from the 16 year old believe it or not. I post jobs for my husband and I too...that way the kids see that we are helping to. (these are jobs we do anyway but putting it on the chart seems to make the kids feel like part of a big person team). The one thing I know for sure is that it is easier to get them in the habit when they are 6 than it is at 16. So love it or hate it...stick with it. Your doing a great job Im sure.

Becky - posted on 02/06/2010




Try a chore chart, with there fav stickers, they can make the chore chart too. Say if they clean there rooms like 5times then they get a surprise, like going out for icecream or go see a movie. This way they can see there progress and get excited about the prize at the end. =)

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