It is a biblical principle that we should work hard and be diligent in our actions. (Proverbs 6:6-11) This is especially important when it comes to our children. We want them to grow up with a good work ethic and be productive members of society. However, this can be challenging, mainly if they are not used to helping around the house or don’t want to help. Let’s be honest; sometimes, it’s easier to do things ourselves. This blog post will discuss biblical principles and strategies to motivate kids to help with household chores!
Biblical Principles for Helping Around the House
I’m always careful about citing the Bible regarding chores because no one wants to be beaten with scripture. But there are a few verses that I think are relevant when teaching our kids about hard work.
Proverbs 14:23 says, “In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” This verse is a powerful reminder to our kids that hard work pays off! It is also a good reminder for us as parents to model hard work for our kids. They are watching us and learning from our example.
Proverbs 22:29 says, “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” This verse is an excellent motivator for kids to work hard! It reminds them that their hard work can take them places in life. They can achieve great things if they are diligent and put forth their best effort.
Parenting Tip – Do not tell your children it was Eve’s fault (AKA the woman) that we must work hard and why we need the kids to do chores.
Strategies for Getting Kids to Help Out
Teaching kids to be responsible is not for the faint of heart. There will be power struggles, meltdowns, and negative consequences. I promise you; that your family life will be much more enjoyable if you can have all the family members help with household chores. We use a few strategies to encourage our kids to help around the house and develop a good work ethic.
One strategy is to give them age-appropriate chores. This will teach them responsibility and help them feel like they are contributing to the family. It is essential to start with simple tasks and increase the difficulty as they grow. For example, toddlers can help pick up toys, while older children can help with laundry or cooking dinner.
Another strategy is to praise their efforts, even if the job is not done perfectly. This will encourage them to keep working hard and help them feel good about their actions.
Finally, we should be patient when teaching our kids how to do chores. We should not expect them to be perfect from the start! It takes time for them to learn and master new skills.
Parenting Tip – So far, guilt trips have been unsuccessful. When I ask my kids if they want mom and dad doing all the household tasks and regular chores, it’s a pretty quick yes. That is why we choose to assign chores.
What Chores Should Kids Perform?
We look at age, ability, and enjoyment when we assign chores. If we are honest, there are some household tasks we hate doing, and the same goes for kids’ chores. Our son Jonah loves showing off his muscles and watching the laundry basket tumble down the stairs. Our youngest daughter enjoys making things pretty and playing in the sink.
It is easier to keep kids motivated when they don’t hate what they are doing.
- Picking up toys
- Helping to set the table
- Feeding pets
- Make bed
- Organizing shoes
- Cleaning room
- Everything above
- Empty all the wastebaskets and recycling bin
- Putting away dishes
- Sweeping and mopping the floor
- Everything above
- Cleaning windows
- Doing yard work
- Cooking dinner
- Helping siblings
- Walking the dog
Older kids can help with more challenging tasks such as laundry, vacuuming, and cooking. Getting kids to do chores is more fun when the whole family is helping, and we aren’t constantly badgering them to get them done.
What About Children with Disabilities?
All children can help out around the house, even those with disabilities. The key is to find age-appropriate and ability-appropriate tasks that they can do. For example, a child with autism may be able to help sort laundry by color or fold towels. A child with Down Syndrome may be able to help set the table.
Our son Jonah is Autistic and getting him to help has been great for his confidence. His main chores are bringing laundry from upstairs to the basement, making nice shoes, feeding the dog, and vacuuming whenever needed.
Like all our children, I try to be aware of their intrinsic motivation. Even if it means more effort for me, I try to let them help if they want to.
We try to keep chores frustration-free and fun. No matter our children’s abilities, we can all find ways for them to help around the house! Helping out makes them feel like they’re contributing to the betterment of our family’s well-being.
Tips for Making Chores More Fun
Much like our own careers, work is more enjoyable when we receive fulfillment out of it. Up until about the ages of 5-8, my kids love helping out. After that, they no longer want to help, and getting them to do anything becomes the bane of my existence. Here are a few tips to help make those household chores fun:
Make it a Family Affair
Put on some music and dance while you’re cleaning up, have a family race to see who can pick up the most toys, or have a pillow fight between making the beds.
Create a System of Rewards
For every task completed, they get one sticker until they fill up their chart, and then they get a prize.
Turn it into a game- I often tell my kids let’s see who can make the most trick shots into the toy basket—boys against the girls or youngest against the oldest.
Everyone Pretends to be a Robot
This one is perfect for the littles, and my robot is pretty spot on. They think it’s hilarious and gets them to move a little faster.
Our kids value their screen time; fair or not, we use it to keep them motivated to complete their everyday chores.
Remind all the family members that many hands make light work. If that doesn’t get your kids to do chores willingly, have them complete a chore independently, and then add family members to help. This will help them realize the importance of working as a team.
Parenting Tip – When your kids say they will do their chores after playing with their electronics, it’s a lie.
Ideas for Rewarding Kids When They Help Out
I was in leadership before I was in parenting, so I often think about work regarding rewards and compensation. When it comes to our kids, we can use this same concept to encourage them to help out around the house. Here are a few ideas for rewarding your kids when they help out:
- Hug them and tell them how proud you are of their hard work. Young kids especially love this, my twelve-year-old doesn’t hate it, but it doesn’t provide much motivation.
- Offer extra screen time. This is a great way to motivate older kids.
- Make a big deal out of it and have a family celebration. This could be as simple as making their favorite dinner or going out for ice cream.
Like the old song says, you gotta accentuate the positive to eliminate the negative. If we want our kids to help out more, we have to ensure we reward them when they do.
The bottom line is this: if we want our kids to do chores and develop a strong work ethic, it starts with us as parents. We need to model the behavior we want to see in our children. When we do, they are more likely to follow our lead.
Whatever you do, make sure the reward is something that will motivate kids! Early in ABA therapy, I remember our first therapist telling us we needed to find Jonah’s currency. That has always stuck with me, and I think it’s a great way to think about how to encourage our kids best.
By instilling a good work ethic in our children from an early age, we are setting them up for success in all areas of their lives! It sets the stage for them to be successful young adults. It also teaches them essential life skills such as responsibility, time management, and teamwork.
Encouraging words and prayers for parents
It is tough motivating kids, and many parents may feel it is easier to complete all the household tasks themselves instead of the extra effort it takes to get kids to do chores. You can implement many practical steps, such as a chore plan, schedule, chore cards, or reward system, but at the end of the day, we need God’s help.
Prayer is a powerful tool, and I have found that praying for my kids is one of the best things I can do as a parent. It opens communication with God and allows Him to work in their hearts. Here are a few encouraging words and prayers for parents:
I pray for wisdom and strength as I parent my children. I pray that I would be able to see them the way You see them and that I would love them unconditionally. Help me be patient and kind as I teach them about Your ways. Please give me the words to say when they are struggling and the wisdom to know when to be silent. I pray that my children will grow up to love and serve You throughout their lives.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
In conclusion, it is vital to encourage our kids to help out around the house. All children are capable of helping out in some way! We can do this by teaching them biblical principles about work, giving them age-appropriate chores, and praising their efforts. We should also be patient when teaching them new skills.
Our kids are capable of much more than we often give them credit for, and so are you. By teaching them responsibility and encouraging a good work ethic, we are setting them up for success in all areas of their lives!