Spring is here, and it feels oh so different from last year, doesn’t it? Many areas of the country are beginning to rapidly vaccinate communities. States are starting to open back up. And while the pandemic is not over, it’s certainly starting to feel like the worst of it is.
With this type of change comes the urge to purge. Spring cleaning season is upon us and after holing up for an entire year, we probably have a good amount of cleaning to do.
This year, instead of simply cleaning the baseboard sand organizing your closets, what if you got your kids involved? Spring cleaning is an excellent opportunity to teach your kids about chores, housework and their value. In fact, kids like to be included in this type of work. It makes them feel like a valuable contributor to the family.
Katherine Reynolds Lewis, author of The Good News About Bad Behavior, says that when kids aren’t asked to contribute to their family, neighborhood or community, “that really erodes their sense of self-worth — just as it would with an adult being unemployed.”
In addition to this, chores and work help teach your child self-control and self-discipline—both of these are important characteristics to have as an adult.
After a year of quarantine, you may be wary of this. Your child’s behavior has been erratic, they’re tired of listening to you, they’re having serious behavioral issues, which is to be expected if your child has been cooped up for too long and doing online school, rather than out and about with his friends. But this doesn’t mean your child has to miss out on the valuable lesson chores can teach him.
If you want your child to participate more with household chores, here are a few tips from a conversation I had with my friend Rachel Cruz that will get him involved and even enjoying the work.
Reward them for their work.
Growing up with Dave Ramsey as her father, Rachel says she received a “commission” for her chores—an allowance that she could use however she wanted, as long as she did her chores.
We all know kids need incentives. They are not mature enough to know the long-term benefits of doing chores. They need something in the here-and-now to encourage them. Lay out a reward system for your child when he does his chores. Whether it’s a commission, ice cream, an outing to his favorite arcade, make sure it’s something that will motive him enough to complete the task and feel rewarded when he’s done.