How Do You Get Your Kid(s) To Help Around the House?
What works (or doesn't) for you?
Getting your young ones to help around the house SHOULD be a win-win situation.
You, in theory, get some needed help. And they learn some practical life skills. As well as picking up a lesson in responsibility while improving their character by pitching in as part of a team, showing consideration for others, etc.
Of course, it doesn't always play out like that. Sometimes, getting junior to help is more trouble than just doing whatever needs to be done by yourself. (But they know that!) And some tackle a job with a little more "enthusiasm" than others.
But by and by, most of us require that our offspring do at least some pitching in around the house. How do you do accomplish that task?
How young do your expect your children to begin helping out? What are some simple assignments for little kids?
How much time to do you expect your son/daughter to devote to helping out each week? Or do you assign tasks on an as-needed basis?
Do you give rewards for extra help? Or assign unwelcome jobs as punishment?
(I may be courting the bad-mother award here, but I confess to handing out bathroom duty for various offenses. Once or twice, accompanied by such comments as, "Keep being mouthy! That bathroom will be sparkling if you don't stop talking." That's not advice, but it has been known to work.)
Do you find that more than one kid working together is a better arrangement — or does the more ambitious child get stuck doing most of the work?
Do you find (as I did) that they are most likely to help quickly and without complaint when they detect their help really is needed — for example, in carrying something heavy, or figuring out that new-fangled technology?
Did a light bulb go on over your head the first time you saw that middle-schooler carrying heavy loads of groceries without breaking a sweat?
Looking at the question from hindsight, I've got to say that having tasks become routine is the best course of action. You'll receive far less argument once something is fed into your child's brain to do without thinking!
But sometimes bribery and blackmail CAN be effective.
And sometimes Mom has to just hold back. I restrained myself from picking up socks and underwear no matter how awful the kid's bedroom and bathroom looked — until I got an irate question of why weren't any clean laundry essentials on one fine morning. Now, at least, the stuff ends up in the laundry room.
Which leads to another Mom-comment: "It's not illegal for anyone under 21 to do laundry in this house."
And that actually worked on a few occasions! But...
Unfortunately, Mom's semi-delicate sweater got thrown in with jeans and socks and rough towels and who-knows-what-else. By the time, it went through the heavy wash cycle and was dried on hot, it came out suitable — perhaps — for wiping down bathroom fixtures.
Maybe it's 21 for a reason.
Please give us your perspective and comments in the comment section below.