10 ways to motivate your kids to do chores
When your kids have Very Important Things to do (think: housework or eating greens), getting them to actually do the chores can be a chore itself. But it’s all about how you market them. Try some of these approaches to turn dull tasks into enjoyable, entertaining ones...
To eat their fruit and veg
Ask any parent, and they’ll tell you mealtimes are a special kind of battle. In many cases, trying to get the little ones to eat nutritious foods leads to tantrums and rejected plates of greens. And while conventional wisdom dictates ignoring this behaviour and serving up the veggies as usual, there are ways to make these unmentionable foods appealing for the kids’ palates:
- Kids love anything frozen. Grab a bag of frozen berries from the supermarket, and serve them as a snack. Add a dollop of yoghurt on the side and they’ll be fighting for seconds!
- Dip it. They won’t eat their veggies, but they’ll devour a whole bowl of dip, no qualms. Be sneaky and dish up an afternoon snack of avocado, hummus or salsa dip and watch them lick the bowl clean. You can put some carrot sticks on the table, but if they won’t go for them, healthy crackers or toast sticks are a great option.
- Make prep time fun. They’ll have fun helping you out in the kitchen, mixing bowls and licking the spoon. Make pancakes or pikelets, and add berries, grated apple or pulped banana to the mix.
To enjoy bath time
The trick is not to make it a ‘task’ as such, but a fun activity they can look forward to. Here’s how:
- Who doesn’t love a bit of bubble action? For those who don’t have a bath, don’t worry, you can still get in on the fun. Natures Organics Organic Care Kids Bubbling Shower Gel is enriched with a soothing chamomile and cleansing green tea extract that’ll make for a happy, bubbly shower experience, meaning your little one can get soft, clean skin with all the bubble benefits - and minus the fuss.
- Add a couple of drops of food colouring to your child’s bath. Try different colours and create a bath time theme, like ‘under the sea’ (using blue) or ‘something pink’ for your little girl. And don’t worry, the dye won’t stain the bath or your child.
To clean up
When it comes to cleaning, the struggle is real. To prevent the house from getting ridiculously messy, make cleaning the furthest thing from dull. Be creative, and you’ll get results.
- Keep it short and sweet. Kids have too short an attention span to participate in a five-hour cleaning marathon, so break up the chores over the course of the week. Your child is much more likely to give something their all for 15 minutes.
- Set up a cleaning relay. Start your chores in one part of the house, and give one child an index card with instructions like, “make the bed, put away any toys and take the dirty clothes to the laundry”. Then, in the laundry room, they can hand the next lot of chores to another child, who loads the wash, starts the machine, and grabs clothes from the dryer.
- Beat the clock. Set a timer and challenge your kids to complete a task before it rings. Give incentives to motivate them. There’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition to inspire people to get moving.
- Figure out what jobs they like. Kids are far more inclined to participate if they like doing something. On a hot day, get everyone into their swimmers, blast some music and wash the car. Or, if the dog needs a bath, make it a fun family activity. That way, you can tick tasks off your list and get some quality time in.
- Play dress up. Pretend play is the best way to get your kids to do house chores without them considering it work. Remember Cinderella? Wearing hankies on your head to scrub the floors, or don maids or butler outfits and pretend you are cleaning up after the messy children who live at the house: “Can you believe they left their crayons all over the floor? Tut, tut!”
How do you motivate your kids to do chores?