What are some tips for getting kids to do household chores on time and avoid procrastination?

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Well, are you working on “doing chores” or are you working on “procrastination”? These can be 2 different lessons with overlapping results.

For chores: every Friday I wrote age appropriate lists for all three kids. The chores would take about 45 min.( the purpose was to teach being a contributing member of the household). HOW well they did the chore was secondary and dictated by age and personality of the kid. A 2 year old can make his bed, just NOT like YOU!).I’d give the list Friday and they had until noon on Sunday to do them. If they weren’t done by then then all extra activities ceased for the rest of the day—until they were done.

I did NOT remind

I did NOT nag

I did NOT lecture

I DID stay consistent

The oldest kid had his chores done within an hour of receiving them on Friday.

The middle one waited until 10:00 a.m. Sunday. ( Once she didn’t have them done foregoing any extra activities until her bedtime( she was middle school). She LOVED her sleep. She stayed up an extra 45 minutes to do her chores, and forced me to drive the point home by adding 2 more chores for whining! THAT only happened once!

The youngest did his Saturday morning to be free to hang out with his brother for the rest of the weekend.

The biggest mistake I see with parents and kids with chores is the following:

The standard is TOO high, TOO soon. And this is the impetus for nagging. Doing things RIGHT by another person’s standards invites rebellion. And NEVER go and re-do a job a kid just did! That’s a slap in the face by anybody’s definition.

Give kids options in when and how things are done. Improving the HOW is another set of lessons. Show them the first time, then step aside. That shows respect for their autonomy.

Are the kids doing chores to cut back on the adults obligation to do the chore? Re-think this. Teaching kids to do “chores” isn’t about making life easier for mom and dad although it might in fact, do that. That’s using kids for your own agenda. My mom raised 4 girls alone. My 2 older sisters started dinner for my mom before she got home.,taking turns. My mom did the thinking, she did the shopping and she checked in everyday to see if the girls were busy with other plans. They both just so happened to love to cook. The best part for them? I did the dishes as I DIDN’T like to cook. If starting dinner fell to me it was hotdogs and Mac and cheese! We were learning to “help out” , not be totally responsible for the “chore”.

One of the sayings I’ve hated the most is “ If you’re going to do something then DO it RIGHT! My retort is “Right according to whom?”!

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