Why Kids Need Chores & How To Get Them Done.
by Susie E. Caron ©7/26/2015
Do you get into a struggle every time you ask your kids to do their chores? You know you are not alone. Could you use a little assistance to get your kids to cooperate, get chores done faster and even more happily? I will give you 5 steps that help with that. However, it will never be easy for you to consistently persevere through 18 years of their delays, complaints and lack of full cooperation, if you don’t keep clear in your mind the really good reasons for making them do their chores. So this week, let me show you five reasons why kids need regular chores.
5 Reasons Kids Need Regular Chores.
1. Kids need to exercise their responsibility muscles.
Your kids will not learn how to do the dishes, laundry, take out the trash or clean the cat litter box if you don't teach them, and expect them to practice these responsibilities themselves. Muscles grow when exercised. Make plans for them to exercise responsibility, (And never give up, or they may grow up 'irresponsible'.)
2. Kids need to feel that you believe in them and trust them.
It feels good to be trusted, and it’s up to you to give your kids lots of opportunities for you to believe in them. Practice telling them, " I believe in you and I know you can do this." and "I trust you to finish what you begin." etc. Besides, you want to be able to trust them. Remember, if a person is trustworthy in little things, they are more likely trustworthy in big things. So give them a chance by doing chores to gain your trust. (And never give up.)
3. Kids need to recognize privilege is preceded by responsibility.
This is a big life lesson. As an adult, you know if you don't make car payments, you'll lose the privilege of owning your car. First you buy and pay for it. While you carry this responsibility, you also get to drive it. This is how the world works. Teach your kids, the more responsibility you carry, the more privileges you receive. (And never give up.)
4. Kids need to get more privileges as they demonstrate responsibility.
This is the sister to #3. But, kids worry most that you will 'add more responsibility' without seeing that they are also gaining lots of new privileges. You have to continue to point out to them that their privileges are the RESULT of their demonstrations of responsibility and not just a 'right of growing older.' (And never give up.)
5. Kids need to feel they contribute to the family well-being, which is real practice for later contributions to their community.
Kids don't get this one because they believe instinctively that the house is yours and you are totally responsible for it and all the chores. After all, they'll tell you, they 'didn't ask to be born'. However, you may remind them that while that may be true, now that they are here, their contributions to chores actually improve family life for all of you.
I know getting kids to really do chores is difficult sometimes and often seems easier to just do them yourself. However, when you keep your 'reasons' clear in your mind it is much easier to endure the pain while ensuring the kids do their chores. The benefits far outweigh the difficulties.
Next week, as promised I’ll give you five steps that help you get your kids to do their chores with less fuss and more cooperation, so you can all have more fun.
What do you do to successfully get your kids motivated? Leave me a comment about it.
Remember to share this article on your favorite social sites.
Twee' Means You and Me &
Together we can build great kids.
Susie E. Caron
A Better Way to Move with Babies & Toddlers to Your New Home.
By Susie E. Caron © 7/19/15
In the past 44 years I’ve lived in 19 different places. Now, I’m in the process of moving again. Packing reminded me of something a wise women once taught me about how to make moving to a new home easier on me and my baby. Her advice may help you too.
Our son was only 1 year old the first time we moved from one town to another, about one hour drive away. My neighbor Sue and I were sharing coffee while we chatted about moving, and all the particulars that it takes to make it go smoothly. She asked me when exactly we planned to leave and what our plans included to make it easier for our son and me. I can’t recall exactly what I said, but I must have responded something like, “Oh we’ll take him while he’s sleeping so he’ll just wake up in our new home.” I naively thought that this was the least difficult thing to do. Her response surprised me.
Sue looked at me, shook her head and said, “Don’t do that! Instead, you pack his favorite toys, blanket, dish and sippy cup, at the very last moment. Do it in front of his eyes so he can see you do it. Then don’t let him fall asleep in the car. Sit in the back seat and play and talk with him as he rides in his car seat. When you arrive to your new home, remove him and his belongings first. Carry him into your new home and stay with him until his crib is set up. Then try to move back into your normal daily routine as soon as possible.”
I couldn’t believe this! He was only 1 year old. Why all the fuss I wondered. I didn’t need to think about that for long because she wasn’t finished.
Sue continued, “Even babies and toddlers get very upset and confused when they are moved and don’t know where they are when they wake up. It’s different, when you are only visiting, because you bring them back to their old home, their beds, and routines. However, when you move from one home to another, you don’t return and that can upset them. Things will go much better and easier for you if you follow my advice.”
I did just what she said, and I believe she saved me and our little son from a lot of grief, and disruption. I even continued to follow that advice through 3 more moves, while our 2 children were babies and toddlers. After they grew older, they wanted to pack their own special belongings themselves to carry to our new home. (And I didn’t have to sit in the back seat anymore.)
Sometimes the well-meaning advice of a friend is just what you may need to hear, especially when it can help you and your children to handle difficult transitions, like moving to a new home. I’m glad I listened to my friend Sue.
What advice have you been given about moving children under age 5? Will you share it with me and my readers here? Thank you.
Twee’ means you and me
Working Together to Raise Great Kids
Susie E. Caron
How My Kids Got to Play in the Rain
by Susie E. Caron © 7/12/15
I am a good Mommy! Really. But, I didn't know that kids could play in rain puddles until the day my husband made it happen.That’s also the day I became a more confident parent. My story may help you too.
One summer day, it was raining pretty hard, and our 3 & 5 year old children played contentedly indoors. As the rain began to subside, my husband invited the kids to come outdoors with him. I was so surprised, I squeaked, "They can't do that!" He looked stunned and asked me, "Why not?" I felt out of my element, flabbergasted, astonished, and a little worried. "Because it is raining!" I whined, and added "They'll get muddy!"
He actually laughed, then gave me a comforting hug, and said, "Susie, our kids can get muddy and it will wash off."
Quicker than I could take my next breath, the kids rushed outdoors with him. Our 3 year old hid her tongue, which I assume was sticking out at me as she left. I peeked out our window and watched them stomping and jumping with giddy abandon, through the numerous rain puddles that had formed in our yard. When I assured myself that they would not be destroyed in the rain, I thought about my own assumption and my husband’s words. ”Why did I automatically believe they couldn’t play in the rain?” “How did he know that they could?” (without life threatening damage.)
Then I recalled that my little brother and I were never allowed to play outside in any kind of ‘bad’ weather. So I thought that was how it was supposed to be - kind of like a rule: “Kids play inside the house during (what the parent considers) bad weather.” As I thought about this even further, I realized I probably assumed many things about kids and my life in general. Those are the times I find myself asking things like, "Is this okay?" "Should I let them do this or that?" Plus this one: "What will people think?"
That day my husband’s words and actions helped me to change the way I parented. I began practicing thoughtful decision making. Instead of using ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’, or some unnamed rule to follow blindly, I questioned myself like this, “Is this okay with me?” “Is it safe?” “What is the lesson I want the kids to experience?” “Does this teach them ‘how the world works’?” As I practiced this, I became more a more confident parent because I understood at last, that my decisions as a parent are up to me, and my husband (thankfully) and not some ‘unknown rule.’
Kids are unique and parenting isn’t easy.
Your decisions are rarely based upon opposites: right or wrong, good or bad, should or shouldn’t, necessary or unnecessary. So it’s important to make good decisions based upon conscious thinking about each child and every situation. A lot of things you want children to do are future focused, and that's important. However, every now and then it’s really okay to let your kids play in the rain and puddles just because it's fun.
A Question for you:
What have you discovered that you thought you should or shouldn't do and changed your mind? Share it and tell me in the comments below.
Thank you for reading my parenting articles. I love writing them for you because,
Twee' means you and me and
Together we can build great kids.
Susie E. Caron
The Easy Way to get kids to clean their rooms.
By Susie E. Caron © 7/5/15
Getting kids to ‘clean their rooms’ is as much of a struggle for parents as it is difficult for kids. Parents ask, “Why can’t they clean their rooms quickly, or even at all? Kids are likewise puzzled because, quite frankly they don’t fully understand the concept of ‘clean your room.’ What does ‘clean your room’ actually mean to a child? If children don’t understand, even after you’ve shown them one hundred times, then what can parents do to get the job done? I'm here to help.
What you Don't want to do:
1. Don’t give in and do it all yourself. You will only be teaching your kids to be more passive, lazy or resistant because they know, in the end, you’ll get frustrated enough to do it yourself (or that you’ll do it over again after they ‘tried.’)
2. Don’t spend hours attempting the ‘get them to do it’ . Whether you yell, threaten, bargain, and promise losses and gains for your kids. This just does not work for two reasons.
a. Kids figure out fairly easily what your ‘breaking point’ is. If you only ‘draw the line’ and they finally do the job after 1 hour, or after you threaten to take ‘ever getting to go to the movies ever again’ away, or if it takes you 6 hours of frustration and anxiety, they already know.
b.The only thing this duration in time provides is tons of attention, and I mean lots and lots of attention that they are getting for NOT DOING what they were asked to do.
3. Don’t give up. This little task of cleaning their bedroom is preparation for life. It teaches kids to really look at their environment, to categorize, organize, sort, prioritize, and other important life skills. This is important teaching.
Here’s what you DO want to do instead:
1. Tell the kids Saturday morning is ‘clean your room day.’ (Pick any day but stick to it as much as possible.) Post it on the refrigerator and calendar.
2. Tell them they have one hour and their job is to get ‘everything off the floor’ so you can come in and vacuum.(Note: If you prefer, you can just do these first two steps once per week, then add #3-#7 below on a different schedule. For example: monthly, before birthdays, Christmas and other holidays.)
3. Tell each child you want him/her to fill up three boxes, (brown paper bags or totes.) Mark each one this way:
c.Keep in the attic (basement, garage etc.) so they can pull them out to trade sometime for other toys they are not currently playing with. (Example: summer toys vs winter toys)
4. Wake them up, give them a friendly breakfast and tell them they have one hour.
5. They can have TV or play time only AFTER their floors are empty and bags are filled. You don’t care what they put in each one, but they must be filled.
6. Now don’t go back into their rooms for one hour, (unless they are very, very little and you stay to help them learn this picking up, sorting task.) If they are 5-10 years old, just go do something noisy like vacuum somewhere in the house for that hour.
7. When they are done, they must come get you to inspect and then they can take the bags to the destinations indicated on them.
8. Tell them “Thank you.” And give them a pat on the back or a hug.
They may not finish in one hour, but don’t let that bother you. Just hold to, “No TV or playing until this job is done." Check on them only once per hour. This gives you time to do other things. Plus, If you stand your ground, they will figure out, the best thing they could do is clean up fast. Don’t expect perfection, but practicing this little task goes a long way to teaching them to get it done, so they can play.
Was this article helpful? I hope so because I’m writing for you! Let me know. Leave me a comment, suggestion or question below. I love to answer you. Share social too! Let your friends know about this, because,
Twee’ means you and me
Working together to build great kids.
Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!