Tasks. Work. Chores. Whatever you call them, there are things that need to be done in your home and frankly, no one really wants to have to do them. Since the magic fairy isn’t going to be arriving anytime soon to handle these things, we as parents have to find a way to motivate our kids to get their share of the work done. I found that every age and stage and child requires a little different tactic and mindset, but it always comes back to adding an element of fun.
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An Element of Fun in Daily Tasks
As Mary Poppins so famously said, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.”
That fun might be adding a timer to see how fast the job can be completed. This is great for your competitive kids. It might mean promising an outside fun activity after the work is finished. When we make it fun, everyone’s attitude is better, even yours!
The way that you phrase or present the tasks makes a difference. This requires thinking about your child’s unique personality and motivations. What will get this child excited about doing something? I know there are some kids who just have more of a bent toward murmuring and complaining, and it will take more work to get to a joyful heart for those kids. But, I’ve found that for most kids, offering a treat or reward activity really helps.
Sometimes your child’s creative ways will actually make the tasks take longer. That’s ok. Don’t squash their creativity. Let them use those skills and gifts. Sometimes it lightens the mood and makes everyone have more fun. Just be aware of your very responsible child who just wants to get the job done. They might be bothered by a sibling who stretches out the time it takes to do a task.
I’ve talked many times about journaling and keeping notes about your child. What motivates them? What makes them excited? What do they delight in doing? Use these insights to help motivate them to get the hard, boring, mundane things done.
By incorporating fun into everyday chores, parents can foster unity and collaboration, and ignite their child’s imagination. You’re instilling in them character qualities that will be written on their hearts for a lifetime. One day, your kids will sit around the table, when they are adults and don’t have to be there, and they will remember these days and how you made daily tasks fun.
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