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How to (effectively) have your kids do "chores"

Chores, the dreaded word from when we were children. A dreaded task that we had to do before we could go play with friends. Let's switch the narrative on the word 'chore' and start to have our kids participate in household tasks from a young age!

dad and son loading dishwasher

Hi, I'm Dee, wife, children' sleep coach, motherhood coach and I am a mom of 4, ages 2-8. I am also a mom who doesn't want to have my children do household tasks instead of me doing them. I want my children to have a sense of pride in their work but also know that there are things we do when are part of a household unit. It's a fine line to walk!

If you are like me, you have probably googled "chore chart for [insert children's age]" and have come up with a ton of unrealistic chores for your toddler or preschooler to do. Match socks, unload dishwasher, vacuum, take out recycling - the list goes on and on.

I'm a busy mom and you are too. While yes, it's great to teach children these things, I don't want it to be their responsibility on the daily! Also, let's be real, do we want to add more stress of constant nagging to our young children to unload the dishwasher? {insert giant eye roll}

Let's cut the crap, let kids be kids but let's teach them how to actively participate in the household. Here are my top 3 tips to including kids in "chores"!

Tip #1 - Don't have a daily chore chart!

This goes against the grain of most things I find online but COME ON! I don't need, nor want, to add something else I need to keep track of! Instead, have a list of tasks your children can do, or help with. I like to have a list, with pictures, hanging in my pantry. It is a wide variety of things, some things my 2 year old can do, some things she cannot but my 8 year old can.

It's less about perfection and more about them wanting to participate and help you. We put rewards to each item, different tasks have different amount of stars they can get. Then we have a reward list that they can trade in stars for. My 8 year old like to trade in stars, my 2 year old likes to do tasks such a wipe doorknobs or 'dust' and put stars in her jar.

The key - nothing is required, daily or weekly!

Tip #2 - Include them in toy clean up!

This one took me way too long to figure out! I used to clean up during nap time or after they went to bed. Once I realized that I was spending time cleaning up instead of having ME TIME, my mindset totally shifted.

Is picking up toys with kids sometimes hard and frustrating? Absolutely, 100%! BUT, the sooner you start to include them in toy pick up, the sooner they can start to do some cleaning up without your help! Even if your children help get 90% of the toys cleaned up, that still gives you so much time for YOU!

Sidebar: Having a toy organization system is key to having your kids being able to help and eventually do it on their own.

Tip #3 - Make it fun!

A list of "chores" varies from house to house but making them fun is key. You can have them race you, you can have them help cook dinner, you can make it a scavenger hunt, make it a game. There are so many options.

Pro tip: Don't talk about chores as if they are miserable, including when you are doing things around the house. Talk about chores as if they are tasks that help make a house run smoothly.

In short, you kids, including your toddlers can help around the house! It doesn't need to be fancy and it definitely doesn't need to be perfect.

If you are struggling with how to manage chores and household tasks in your house and are ready to implement a system in your house to give you time back each day. Click here to book a free motherhood call and let me tell you all about my 8 week program that will change your life, in the best way possible!

                xo Dee


About Dee: Dee is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Coach, Motherhood Coach and founder of The Restful Haus, where she helps families 1:1 with their children ages 12 months - 4 years old. She is passionate about helping moms redefine their motherhood journey through her 8 week Motherhood Program. She is a New Jersey native and currently resides in Colorado with her husband and 4 daughters (ranging from 2 years to 8 years old). She enjoys spending time with her family, the Jersey Shore, music, traveling with her husband + kiddos and on the rare occasion, sitting down to read a murder mystery book.

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