How We Get Our Kids to Do Stuff Without Nagging
We have had a kid’s chore chart on the fridge since they were 5 and 6 years old; the same age my parent’s started one for my brother and me. Each of our boys has their own chart, their chores listed in a column on the left with a corresponding checkbox for each day of the week on the right.
When they were younger and they would complete a chore, we gave a big hooray and a bright red checkmark. Today our kids are 10 and 11 and wanting more than a simple yippee, they want cold hard cash. Fair enough, they earn it.
The first weekly chores we alternated between them were feeding the cats or collecting eggs. We would help them along the first few times, and then slowly back away. The key for me as a Mom, a self proclaimed helicopter Mom, was to not step in and do it for them. We would show them how to sweep up the spilled feed and call the dogs for the broken eggs. For us, teaching them to find solutions was just as important as the jobs themselves.
We started adding a few more chores over time that were always age appropriate. The constant nagging was
driving me completely bananas. So I simply stopped. It took a lot of patience and perseverance to finally have them realize there simply was NO option to not do their chores. I wouldn’t get
upset, I wouldn’t yell and I wouldn’t nag. They simply wouldn’t get to do any fun stuff (T.V. time was the big carrot) until their chores were done. Most importantly, they realized when everyone
pitches in we all have more family time together.
It has been a very strategic two years to get a smooth system going. We now have a daily routine, with the new chore chart religiously going up on Sunday night. I am proud to say our boys now do all of their own laundry, make their own school lunches, do weeknight dishes, empty the kitty litter, fill the wood box, feed and water the cats and dogs and do all morning and evening barn chores (except for the cattle). They each get ten bucks a week for a completed chore list, the best twenty bucks a week we spend.
So for all parents out there killing yourselves doing everything for your kids, know that it is possible to
raise responsible little people who can contribute to your household. You simply have to be willing to put in the time and effort to do so. Our kids have developed a strong work ethic
and see how much smoother life is when everyone works together. This is by far one of the most valuable life lessons we can teach our children.