Love and Logic Magic When Kids Leave You Speechless Jim and Charles Fay explain that
"Chores are the basic building blocks of pride and feelings of being loved and needed by one's family. Kids who have this at home don't need to find it in a cult or street gang."" (p. 5)
Love and Logic Guidelines for Chores
1. Don't pay kids to do them. This might send a very uncharitable message, "Don't do anything unless you get paid to do it." Every member of the family should contribute in meaningful ways to the family without the expectation of a reward. (See the archived posts on allowances)
2. Chores help kids help kids feel needed and proud but they will grumble when they have to do them.
Child: "None of my friends do chores!"
Parent: "I know. (see previous post) But I love you enough to expect more from you that that?"
3. Have a plan for kids who "refuse" or "forget" to do chores. One classic approach is the art of the "enforceable statement."
- "Feel free to come to dinner as soon as your room is clean."
- "I would be happy to give you a ride to the mall as soon as the grass is mowed."
4. Don't be afraid to "pull the rug out" with a "delayed consequence."
Child: "Mom can you give me a ride to baseball practice?"
Parent: "Oh no. I am so sorry. I'd be happy to give you a ride as soon as your chores are done but the grass looks a little shaggy?"
Child: "I forgot! The coach will be mad at me."
Parent: "Probably. What do you think you can do about that?"
Child: "I'm going to tell him you would not give me a ride."
Parent: "That's an option. It's not true though. I will be happy to give you a ride when your chores are done. I wonder what he'd say when he learned the truth?"
Child: "I hate you."
Parent. "That's an option too but I don't hate you. I love you enough to expect the best from you."
Child: "What if this was the championship game?"
Parent: "I guess if you wanted to play badly enough you would get your chores done on time."