Preschoolers love to be helpful but has your child’s willingness to do chores decreased since turning 5 or 6? This is very normal according many experts. However, since this is the age when your child is ready for some real responsibility, it is important not to let your child off the hook! Here are some motivational tricks: 1. The Big Kid Card – Appeal to your child’s desire to be grown up. If your child is asking for more freedom in other ways, explain that more independence comes with more responsibility. 2. Make It Fun – By mixing some music or a game into cleaning up, your child may be more interested. Using a timer and challenging your child can also be motivating. 3. Pitch In – If time allows, do some of your chores at the same time your child is doing theirs. It will help your child to see that everyone in the family shares responsibility. You may also agree to help start your child’s chore with them to show your support and help them get going. 4. Use a Reward System – Offer to do something special with your child when their chores are complete. Have your child check off tasks from a list so he can visually see his accomplishments. Have your child “work” toward something they really want such as watching a movie on the weekend or going to the zoo. 5. Make a To-Do List - Help your child organize the things they need to accomplish and share with him your to-do list so she can see how grown up it can be to be organized. If you don't normally have a list, make one, it will help you too! Let your child cross off things once they are completed. You can even put the list in order or events as they need to be finished and include rewards such as - 1. brush cat, 2. take out trash, 3. make bed, 4. THEN go to the playground. This will help your child to see what needs to be done before fun things that are planned.
Be wary of paying your child for every chore expectation as it can make it difficult to persuade him to help with anything without giving him money. Allowance can be used for good behavior as well as accomplishments but be careful to to overuse it or it can become expected without effort.
RVA Director of Special Education & School Psychologist