Getting Children to Help Around the House
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Theres no sure fire way to get children to want to help around the house. But
here are some suggestions to help parents develop a system of shared home management
- You may want to start by getting everyone around the dining room table for a discussion
about what jobs need to be done, which ones are the most disliked, and how each person can
share in family chores. Make a list and include the childrens ideas.
- Each family member can be responsible for personal things. Beyond that, youll have
to decide who will do what jobs. Try to involve everyone in a plan of dividing up chores
and assigning them fairly. Avoid separating jobs into male/female tasks. Explain that
everyone needs to learn a variety of household management skills.
- At the family meeting, stress the importance of each family members being
organized to prevent work whenever possible. Show children how some tasks can be
consolidated. For example, children can set the table for breakfast while putting away the
supper dishes. Make our home user friendly. Try to eliminate the chaos that makes it
appear it would be nearly impossible to get things straightened up.
- Children may need to learn how to operate some household equipment (running the vacuum
sweeper, for example), or how to do some chores in an orderly way. Work with children
until they can do it satisfactorily and encourage them as they learn. When theyve
done the job well, be generous with compliments.
Karen Elliott, Karen.Elliott@oznet.ksu.edu
County Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Johnson County, Kansas
Kansas State University Research and Extension