Ten Suggestions for Setting Up Family Chores

— Commonwealth of Kentucky
Updated on Jul 26, 2007
  1. Parents will want to set a good example by sharing the responsibility and duties involved in family life.
  2. Remember to consider age when assigning duties. Even young children can begin to participate if the task is short and coached. As kids get older, the tasks get harder.
  3. Start by listing all the possible things that need to be done. Be sure to involve the children in making up the list.
  4. Consider rotating assignments of chores, particularly ones that everyone likes or dislikes.
  5. It is helpful to decide or assign clear time frames for completing each task.
  6. Decide on reasonable consequences and rewards ahead of time. This discussion can include the children's suggestions as well.
  7. Assume you will need to provide some helpful reminders (notes, lists, charts). Kids may want to help create these reminders, depending on their age.
  8. Don't assume kids know or should know how to do something. Parents who teach them how to do the task, by breaking the tasks down, have much better results.
  9. When (not if) a chore does not get done, avoid "nagging" conversations or arguments about it. Just remind them of the agreed upon consequences and then stick with your plan.
  10. Parents will want to practice their plan to keep calm and in control of their emotions when working with their children. Otherwise, chores will become a real chore!
  11. Celebrate small steps of progress, and celebrate often!
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