Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Chores are one of the best learning experiences for our kids.  Kids who do chores feel like they are contributing to the success of the family and they learn to take care of things and to be accountable.  When children are young they love to do chores.  They want to help us do dishes and sweep floors and wash windows but as they grow, their love of chores diminishes and then the fight begins.  How can we enforce chores and avoid a battle over them every day?

Love and logic is all about gaining control through choices.  The fine line is letting kids have control on our terms.  We set the limits with our kids but they choose how to operate within those limits.  This gives children a sense of responsibility and independence as well as letting them practice their decision making skills.

Choices also allow us to avoid unnecessary battles over control.  

My favorite choice is allowing a child to pay me for chores they are unwilling to do.  I always give a time-frame by which chores must be done so then my child has the choice to do it now, do it later or pay me to do it for them (with either money or consequence).

When my oldest son was in high school, he had the choice to mop the floors anytime before Sunday.  He could do it now, do it Sunday night or I could turn his phone off.  Every week would find him mopping my floors at 11:30 pm....but, my floors were done.  When he chose not to, I did not speak of it, I just logged into t-mobile and shut off his service for the week.  The consequences spoke for themselves.  No battle, no fight.  He chose his own path.

Is your child's room perpetually a mess no matter how much you nag?  Attach a choice to that.  He can do it now, do it before the appointed time or he can pay you $5.00 to do it for him.  Another tactic is to attach it to something he places value on, for instance, when he wants to do something say "sure as soon as your room is clean to my standards."  And then be quiet.  Chores will miraculously be done. 

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