To make your children collaborate at home, you need clear instructions and not do everything for them. Here are some keys to help you.
Collaborating at home is more than lightening the load on adults. It is also learning essential points for life, such as autonomy, responsibility and empathy with the people we live with. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask your children to collaborate at home, because you will find that you make them feel more important than you think.
Here are some recommendations for putting this into practice today and getting the best results. You are ready ?
How to get your kids to collaborate more at home
Helping children with household chores goes beyond simple collaboration because it is a huge lesson in autonomy and responsibility. In addition, it helps them to practice social skills and solve different situations in a safe environment, to be able to manage on their own when the situation calls for it.
Take note of our recommendations to put into practice.
1. Assign tasks and responsibilities according to the age of your children
When we don’t take the age factor into account, we can frustrate children and make them feel unable to do anything.
From the age of 3, children can already understand what it means to collaborate and we can ask them to tidy up their room and their toys, as part of personal care tasks. For this, it is also necessary facilitate the circumstances and provide for baskets, boxes and low furniture so they can put in and take out their personal items without having to ask for help.
In adolescence, young people must be fully involved in household chores and you have to teach them how to do them a first time, if necessary. For example, putting on the washing machine and hanging up the laundry. Other activities that can be asked of them are maintaining the hygiene of their room and noting on the shopping list what is missing in the fridge.
2. Turn chores into an extra activity for the day
When asking children for help, it is important not to assign them tasks that interrupt their other activities; they must be able to complement each other or take place at another time.
Thus, it is better not to ask them for something when playing with their friends, but you still have to tell them that they will have to do it later. When the activity is interrupted, the child’s response usually reflects rejection or annoyance, and he may even perform the task hastily and with little commitment.
3. Learn to do things and develop responsibility
Adults need to understand that children will not succeed at first try. Quite often, they will forget to put certain items in their backpack or they will put their shirt on backwards, until they manage to dress themselves. Maybe those times come when we’re in a rush, but we have to be patient and show them how to do these tasks well.
4. Accept that there are different ways of doing things
Helping around the house often becomes awkward for children as they are often the target of a lot of criticism or remarks. They need allow them to explore, experiment, try again and again and discover for themselves how to best organize and fulfill their functions.
5. Give them clear instructions
Sometimes children are given very general instructions or poorly explained to them what is expected of them. This can give rise to doubts and misinterpretations. For this reason, it is important explain and ask things clearly and concisely so that young people can complete tasks correctly. In addition, they can be asked if they have understood the instructions correctly or if they need to be explained again.
6. Be consistent with your requests
Parents must be consistent in their requests, until it becomes a habit. If a task is completed one day but not the next, the message becomes confused. For better organization, we can agree on certain rules before starting. For instance, on Wednesday the bedroom should be tidied up and on Thursday the clothes should be put away in the closet.
7. Avoid doing things for them
If the adults fulfill the pending tasks of the children, the latter will fulfill their obligations less and less. Remind them that they need to take care of the work they didn’t do and encourage them to finish it.
8. Reinforce their compliance behavior
This is very important, especially the first few times. Recognizing and highlighting the work of your children will encourage them to collaborate on a daily basis. Furthermore, they will feel useful and see that you notice when they get involved in their responsibilities.
9. Do not apply sanctions, explain the consequences of actions
Punishments only bring frustration and anger. However, it is important to note that when toddlers commit to something and don’t follow through, there are logical consequences to their actions. For example, if they don’t finish putting their clothes away, they won’t be allowed to play video games.
10. Teach by example
Children are watching us all the time: so we must educate by example and not just with words. In this sense, if we ask or demand things that we ourselves don’t comply with, chances are they won’t do them either more.
Collaborative children, responsible adults
When we start to make children responsible for small daily activities related to household chores, we are not only succeeding in having order in the house. We lay the foundations for them to become people who are attentive to the needs of others and concerned about the environment.
At the same time, we involve our little ones more in the family dynamics and teach them that everything should not be done by “the big ones”. When we overprotect our children, we send them the wrong message about our trust in them.
Their integration into household chores creates more pleasant spaces, reduces daily conflicts and generates more symmetrical and egalitarian relationships. It should be remembered that there is still a gender gap when it comes to housekeeping work, so it is crucial to inculcate notions of roles from an early age. For how can a man be expected to engage in domestic or care work if he has never been encouraged to get involved?
In conclusion, having your children collaborate at home is much more than reduce the daily load: it is to teach them good values for life.