Getting Children to do Chores

by MJ Fisher

B. Soc. Sc.; GradDip Teaching; Dip. Care and Ed.

It is of little surprise that most children are not bursting at the seams to do chores.  Life, to them, is about having fun, and very rarely are chores perceived as being fun.  Nevertheless, they are necessary because they help households function.  Getting help from all members of the household ensures that everyone under the same roof has an opportunity to enjoy much needed downtime.  Yet getting everyone in the house to cooperate and help out can be painful and energy draining. 

Ways household chores are avoided

There are multiple ways children try to avoid household chores.  None are exclusive to a child of a certain age or gender.  Regardless of the strategy used to get out of completing household tasks, the end goal for non-helpers is the same – to avoid doing tasks.  The reasons for not completing requested/expected tasks is often a simple one – it is a lot nicer if someone else does it.  If someone else completes a task then the non-helper has more time to do the things they enjoy.  Their focus is seldom acknowledges, even if adults explain it, that not doing their tasks makes other people upset, tired and feel underappreciated. 

A common avoidance technique...