Running a household is hard work whether one person lives there, or ten. Moms often do the bulk of housework but not only is it not fair to the Mom, it doesn't help to teach kids what it takes to keep the home on track. Here are some tips to get your kids involved in helping out around the house.
1. Work together. Getting the kids involved isn't always as effective as when you are all working together. If they see that you're putting effort in, they'll follow suit.
2. Be specific. Telling kids to "clean up" is vague and sometimes, overwhelming.Tell them to place their toys back in their toy boxes, or to make their beds, or to empty their lunch kits to get ready for making lunches, etc. If they know exactly what is expected of them it is more likely to get done.
3. Make pickup time fun. Playing "clean up" songs are a hit with most pre-schoolers. Plus, if you do it consistently, you can get to the point where all you have to do is turn the music on and everyone starts getting busy.
4. Chore pockets. Create (or buy) chore pockets and tickets with chores on them. Each family memmber has an "in" pocket for chores that need to be done and an "out" pocket for completed chores. You can see an example of this at Balancing Everything.
5. Chore charts. A variation of the chore pockets, chore charts can be fun with a ticket system which can be redeemed for items or rewards. Tickets are given as rewards for chores and good behaviors. Tickets are taken away as consequences. Here are some age-appropriate chore charts.
6. An allowance. If tracking sharts seems like too much for your busy life, a simpler way is to institute an allowance. Make a list of daily/weekly tasks that need to be completed, check them off when done, and at the end of the week your child can collect their allowance.
7. Use an App to help you. In this age of technology, many of us have smart phones that we use for a myriad of tasks and reasons. Need help getting the kids with chores? There's an App for that.
8. Don't forget to say Thank You. While rewards and consequences are motivators, most kids thrive in an environment where Mom and Dad thanks them for the work they do.