I have noticed that Chores can be a great source stress for families.
We want our kids to contribute to the family community.
We don’t want to feel they are taking advantage of us.
We want them to be prepared to face the world.
When we are doing things around the house and we see our kids
sitting in front of the TV, their laptops or on their phones,
it can be very upsetting.
Thinking About How To Introduce And Work With Chores
When evaluating how you deal with chores in your family
I invite you to examine three aspects:
1) The way you introduce chores and ask/demand Chores
2) The feeling of ownership and belonging your kids have in your home.
3) The way you deal with resistance, avoidance and disobedience.
This will be a 3 part post where I’ll offer some ideas in each of these three categories.
Introducing a Chore
When kids get an emotional attachment to things,
negative or positive,
it can last a lifetime.
This is why the way we introduce things to them is so important.
It is worth thinking not only about whether they do their chores,
But also how they feel about doing them.
Starting On The Right Note
If from the beginning I kid feels resistance to chores,
if they feel they are an imposition on their freedom
and they are being persecuted
then there will never be peace around this issue.
I know it may seem to us like we just want them to do their dishes once in a while,
but it is very important for us to not devalue their perspective on things.
When we do this we are setting ourselves up for conflict and struggle.
We All Have A Desire To Be Understood
Most of us truly want to be seen and heard,
we want to be deeply understood.
Children are no different.
They want to feel that their parents understand and respect them.
Therefore it’s worth making sure we don’t’ ignore their feelings.
If we can introduce chores in a way that seems positive and loving
Rather than authoritative and controlling
And if we can include them in all aspects of decision making
Then they are more likely to be on board with the whole idea.
This will create a lot more harmony in the long run
And teach more about working together as a community
Than forcing them to blindly do work ever will.
Doing Things Together Creates A Sense Of Belonging
Most of the time when I want my girl to do a chore
I’ll make sure I do it with her the first few times.
This shows that we’re together in the experience.
It takes away the feeling of “us and them”.
Explaining and Involving
I will explain details and reasons for what I want done.
This way she understands the benefit to her and to the family.
I’ll also ask her if my reasons make sense
and if she has any other ideas she can share about the chore.
After a few times doing this together
it’s easy for her to remember when and how to do something
and she also feels like she’s had a part in deciding how
(and when, how often and even why) it should be done.
I’m Always There For Support
She also knows that if she’s feeling off or un-enthused
she can call me to help her out.
This reduces the pressure on her.
Introducing things this way may seem like a lot of work
But I am looking towards the long term effects.
The effects on her relationship to chores, to herself and to me.
Caring for all these aspect will produces the highest level of harmony in the home.
Check in tomorrow for Part 2 –
Creating a feeling of ownership and belonging in the home to motivate your kids