Getting Kids to Do Chores

So many kids today do not have a very good work ethic.  They expect that good things should come to them without much effort on their part.  Chores may be one of the greatest things that help kids learn how to make contributions that benefit others.  Getting kids to do chores helps them build character and helps them be successful in life and in relationships.


So how do we get kids to do chores?  Is it possible to get them to do chores without using reminders, warnings, or threats?  Absolutely!  However, the approach that a parent uses may make a big difference in the child’s attitude toward chores.


Go and do your chores approach


I can remember as a kid that chores seemed overwhelming.  During a time when I lived with my grandmother, she would send me outside to mow her lawn.  After 2 ½ hours of mowing her huge lawn set on a hill with a push lawnmower, I would come inside the house to rest.  If my grandmother saw me resting, she would ask why I was inside when the lawn wasn’t done.  I would respond by telling her that I had finished mowing the lawn.  She would respond by saying the trimming was part of mowing the lawn and that I needed to go back out there and finish.  After another hour of trimming I would return inside the house only to be sent outside again to weed – because, of course, “weeding is part of doing the lawn also.”


As a child, I learned to either take my time while doing the yard work hoping that it would get too dark to see and I could quit, or I would try to hide and avoid people on Saturday and just hope that I could get away from a never-ending chore.


When my own kids got old enough to start doing chores, I found myself using my mother and grandmother’s approach to getting my children to do chores.  I would tell them what to do and when to have it done by.  Because they were little and didn’t have a lot of experience completing tasks, they would doddle around instead of completing the tasks in a…

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