In the past, we had trouble getting our kids to do their chores. I have seen plenty of attitude. I even used screen time to bribe my children. Things started to change when I got sick and tired of doing everything for them.
When they couldn’t find a belonging, they thought it was my responsibility to find it. I used to nag, but now I Coach them how to be organized.
I was following a Facebook thread about kids not knowing where their shoes are. They blamed it on ADHD. This may be the cause, but let’s be real, most kids struggle with this until they learn to be organized.
All kids need to learn to take ownership of their stuff. This is easier said than done. I know, my son who has a tough time staying focused, will often leave the house without his shoes.
Then, I started another approach.
Children need to help around the house with a good attitude. They will never learn to take responsibility for their life if they expect everyone else to do things for them.
My daughter wants a kitten. For that to happen she needs to help take care of the pets that we already have. At age seven she cleans up the dog’s poop, feeds and waters it every day.
She dislikes cleaning up the poop, and I remind her that if we get a cat she will have to clean up after it too. She must really want a kitten because faithfully everyday she takes care of her beloved pet.
I told my son that if he wanted to keep our rabbit in his room that he would have to care for it. If he didn’t the rabbit would have to go. Because he loves his rabbit so, at age nine he cleans its cage as needed.
I see kids in families today get angry when asked to do one simple thing like set the table, clean the dishes, or sweep the floor. It’s even more troubling when parents let their kids be lazy.
It’s a disservice to our kids to just let them sit in front of the screen and not be part of the family by participating in chores, cooking, and caring for the needs of one another.
Now my kids work hard, with kindness, and they desire to be team players. Not only do they do what is expected, they do a little extra.
I’m a Certified Parent Coach, and I was discussing with a mom an issue she was having with her child. Mom was packing boxes for a big move. Her son who was old enough to help just sat in front of the screen letting mom do all the work by herself.
When she asked him for help to carry some heavy boxes he ignored her.
I tried to be kind, professional, and honest without offending. Thankfully my words didn’t offend. She was ready for change.
I told her that her son, who is only a few years away from being an adolescent, may grow up to be selfish and not show honor, if he doesn’t have a change of heart.
Honor starts in the home. We honor one another by having a heart of servanthood.
This mom on her own decided to get rid of all the screens in the house and start living life with her son differently. She is starting to notice that he is helping and caring. After mom had a heart to heart talk with her son about his attitude and her need to have support, he took to heart what she said. He decided to help mom finish packing, move heavy boxes, and help unpack. They ended up having a fun time together!
Two of the biggest complaints I hear parents have is that their child is not internally motivated to do the right things, and parents feel they always must remind their son or daughter to do their chores, obey the rules, show kindness to their siblings, or bribe them to do their school work.
The real question I think we should be asking is this: How do I teach my children to be responsible without me having to bribe or nag them.
Teaching Kids to Help at Home:
1. Stop bribing them.
It feeds selfishness. The attitude can develop that: I will do something for you if you do something for me. I don’t think that is relational at all.
2. Expect them to respond to your requests with a good attitude.
Kid’s should be corrected when they back talk, throw an attitude, or refuse to help when asked. Parents need to request that their children respond kindly when asked to do something. Children with the help of their parents must explore the issues that they are feeling in their heart.
For us to live in a world where people care about one another, we must make sure we are training our children to care and we show this by being kind to our family members.
As a Certified Parent Coach, it’s my desire to help parents coach their children. I’m certified through the National Center for Biblical Parenting by Dr. Scott Turansky, and we take parents through an eight-week training program that changes hearts.
Please feel free to contact me If you want to know more about this program and please share what your parenting concerns are. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please check out my post about Coaching for Parents and our eight-week training program.
Lisa is an aspiring writer with a mother’s passion for Homeschool Education. She has an 8 yr. old son, a 7 yr. old daughter, and has been married to her husband for 10+ yrs. Prior to marriage, she worked over 20 yrs. enriching the lives of hundreds of children and families. Lisa has a Bachelors in Social Work and Early Childhood Education. You can read more of Lisa’s posts on her blog The Family Roadmap.