3 Ways to Encourage Helpful Household Habits

3 Ways to Encourage Helpful Household Habits

by Gwen Campell June 25, 2019

Not only is it nice to have a helping hand around the house - chores teach children responsibility, time management and independent work completion.

 

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The long-term, positive impact of chores

Foundational chores built at a young age can impact work ethic and habits as a child grows into adulthood. Think about it this way: if a child starts washing the dishes every day at age 6, when they are 18 they will be habituated to doing the dishes and the task will become just another part of their normal routine. Now, imagine a child that is never responsible for doing the dishes. When they turn 18 and move into their first apartment, the sink will pile up with dirty dishes, and because they’re on their own now, cleaning up may seem like a monumental task. 

 

1.  EngagE your child with positive rewards

A common approach is to have an ultimatum, such as “do your chores or you’ll be in trouble”. But studies now show that using positive reinforcement techniques to build habits actually fosters less stress in a parent/child relationship and helps to build healthy habits that children will continue over time. So, instead of using an ultimatum, try using a reward. You may be skeptical, but hear me out: the trick is making the reward something beneficial in itself. Some examples of positive rewards are an extra bedtime story, more playtime outside, a new puzzle, or a favorite healthy treat. You can also create a reward for consecutive days of task completion. For example, “if you do all of your chores every day this week, we can go to a movie together on Friday”. Positive reinforcement not only motivates completion of chores, but when the rewards are well thought out, they have their own benefits, such as more time spent learning and more quality time spent together. Eventually you can wean your children off of the positive reward system, and chores will become part of the normal routine.

 

2.  CHOOSE appropriate Tasks for your child

The key to chores is making sure that they are appropriate for your child’s particular age and skill level. An added bonus is when chores can be a bit fun! In a perfect world, chores are the at intersection of what you as the parent needs to be done and what your child likes to do. For instance, if you have a child that loves animals, chores centered around caring for your pets are a great idea. If you have a child that loves being outside, pulling weeds or mowing the lawn can be chores they actually enjoy. Here are our chore recommendations for three different age groups: 

 

6 years old or younger 7-12 years old 13 years old or older
  • Clean up toys
  • Sweep
  • Dust
  • Learn how to set the table
  • Simple pet care
  • Watering plants
  • Help with laundry
  • Put away groceries
  • Sort dirty clothes to be washed
  • Learn good hygiene like washing hands
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Fold laundry
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Help with cooking and meal preparation
  • Make and pack lunches
  • Clean bedrooms
  • Gardening
  • Feeding pets
  • Restock bathroom supplies like soap, toilet paper, etc.
  • Clean out cars (wash, vacuum, etc)
  • Feed and exercise the pets
  • Take out the trash
  • Cook dinner
  • Do laundry
  • Clean their room
  • Vacuum
  • Mow the lawn
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Help little siblings or older relatives
  • Wash windows

 

3.  Use A Chore chart

There's just something about putting pen to paper and crossing something off of your to-do list. This is especially true for kids with focus and attention issues. We've put a chore chart together to hopefully make your life a little easier while helping your child build healthy habits! Just fill in your child's responsibilities for the week.

Enter your information below to download Revibe's Chore Chart:

 

Gwen Campell
Gwen Campell

Gwen Campbell is the Director of Product at Revibe Technologies, and has dedicated her career to helping children with special needs and their families since 2015. An engineer by training and altruistic at heart, Gwen leaped at the opportunity to join Revibe's mission to improve the quality of life of others. In her spare time, she loves being surrounded by loved ones, animals, and nature.

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