Monday, July 4, 2016

Tools for Your Parenting Tool Box - Chores.

Chores  or "Contributions" let a child know that they are an important part of the family.  They teach responsibility.  They also teach other important values such as service to one another, sacrifice, kindness, doing a job well the first time and more. Life skills, citizen skills, and job skills all come from chores. 

 Love and Logic has a great resource on Chores called "From Bad Grades to a Great Life." to help parents help children who are under achieving at school.  But why wait to see if your child is an underachiever or not?   

The goal is to get kids to do chores without reminders and without getting paid.  (Though they can pay someone else to do their chores if they don't want to do them.) 

Here's what Love & Logic suggests (Along with a whole list of other tips)

  • A” -  Ask your child to do a chore you are sure they won’t, and give them a deadline for completion. It feels counter-intuitive but resistant children will only learn to do their chores if they learn that failing to do them will result in a consequences they don't like. When assigning the chore, don’t say, “Do it now!” Give the child a deadline instead. This gives them some control and you plenty of time to figure out what you might do if the child either refuses to do the chore or forgets. 
  • B” - Be quiet. Resist the urge to nag, remind, lecture or threaten.
  • “C” - Consequences and empathy will do the teaching. “This is so sad. I had to do your chores for you. Now I don’t have the time and energy to _____________.”  (Fill in the blank with a privilege you typically provide)
Examples
  • This is so sad, I was going to take you out to buy a new video game but now I don't have the energy to drive to the mall.
  • This is so sad, I was going to drive you to your ball game but I had to mow the lawn and I don't have the time or energy to do that.
  • Oh man,  the family is going to a movie tonight but you will have to stay home and get the lawn mowed instead.
  • When handing out allowance: This is so sad, I had to mow the lawn for you.  So I deducted the amount it would have cost to pay me from your allowance.  Neighborhood kids make $15 but I have a college degree so I charge $25.  
Want to learn more about allowances? Check out this article or the book Millionaire Babies or Bankrupt Brats.

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