Let’s face it! Getting our kids to do their chores can be extremely frustrating for parents. We have to constantly remind them or they don’t get done. Our kids complain and try to negotiate with us to either do their chores later or not to do them at all. And they don’t take pride in their work, which can be maddening to us. They take forever to complete a task and once they have completed it, we often find that even though it took them an inordinate amount of time to complete, the job is only half done or has been done poorly.
So, what’s a parent to do? If getting our kids to do their chores is such a frustrating endeavor, is it even worth attempting? Should we just give up and do everything ourselves?!?
The Benefits of Kids Doing Chores
When kids learn to do chores well, there are so many benefits – for us and for them:
- They learn responsibility
- They become more self-sufficient
- They feel needed which increases their self-esteem
- The workload is shared by everyone which makes running the household less burdensome to us
It’s a WIN-WIN. Once we’ve taught our children how to properly do their chores and to do them well, we all benefit. However, getting to this point isn’t always easy.
And parents aren’t the only ones who dread the chores process. Our kids often become discouraged by them as well. They don’t understand what we expect them to accomplish. They feel like they’re being nagged. They don’t see the value in what they’re being asked to do. And they can even start to think that no matter how much effort they put into the task, it won’t measure up to our high standards.
Getting Older Kids to do their Chores with Less Frustration
If you have younger children, you know that they are eager to do their chores – especially if you are doing it with them. And believe it or not, there are lots of age-appropriate chores for even the youngest children. Allow your little ones to fold washcloths with you, to pick up their toys, and to help you match socks while folding the laundry. Young children also enjoy helping to stir food in the kitchen, to fill the pet’s food bowl, and to wash off the counter. They may not be able to do as thorough of a job as an older child or an adult would do, but they will be eager to try.
Once kids get a bit older, however, their enthusiasm for doing chores goes way down. Suddenly, there are so many other things they would rather be doing. Their attitudes are often poor and the energy they put into the task can be pretty low.
Fortunately, there are some techniques we can use to get our older kids to do their chores with less frustration for us and for them:
1 – Be Absolutely Clear
Our kids aren’t born with the knowledge of how to properly and thoroughly do household chores. We need to be willing to teach them. No matter how old your child is, it’s best to allow them to watch you complete the chore first while they watch. Or to have them lend you a hand rather than expecting them to be responsible for completing the task on their own.
Show them how you would like the job completed. Let them know what result you’re looking for to know that the chore is done. It’s important not to be too hard of a taskmaster, however. Especially when your child is younger or is newer to doing chores. If they feel that there is no way they can make you happy with their effort no matter how hard they try, then they will stop trying. Focus on effort more than results!
2 – Be a Good Example
If we ask our kids to complete a long list of chores while we are sitting down watching TV or enjoying a good book, they will soon become discouraged. It’s much easier for our kids to work around the house when they aren’t doing it alone.
A great way to get kids involved with housework is to do it with them. Have them wash off the kitchen counter while you sweep. Have them dry the dishes while you wash. If the whole family is doing chores at the same time, this also becomes a great opportunity for you to talk with them and to find out what’s going on in their lives.
3 – Make it Fun
Doing household chores isn’t fun by default. We need to be intentional about adding fun. Turn on some loud music and encourage dancing while dusting. Tell jokes while you work. Set up a friendly competition to see who can complete their chores first. And above all, keep your cool. If your child needs to be coaxed into doing his or her chores, it can be tempting to be crabby about it. But if you’re able to demonstrate a good attitude you’ll be much more likely for that positive influence to rub off on your child.
4 – Use Technology
You would never ask your child to sweep the floor without a broom. And you wouldn’t attempt to dig a hole without a shovel. Tools are not only useful, they are essential.
We are living in an age where like it or not, our older kids are technologically savvy. Fortunately, we can use this to our advantage. Most of our kids enjoy using apps on their phones or other electronic devices. Well, what if I told you that there’s an app which can decrease the frustration of both you and your kids when it comes to chores? I’ve recently discovered just such an app and it’s called Homey.
Benefits of Using Homey
I received this product for free and was compensated for my time but all of my opinions are honest and I was not required to post a positive review.
Homey is a robust app which has the potential to revolutionize the entire chore process in your home:
1 – No More Nagging
Homey gives you the ability to set up chores and assign them to kids without having to remind them over and over. It also allows you to create repeating chores if it’s a task which is done daily, weekly, etc.
2 – No More Negotiating
You set up the chores and your child’s device lets them know what needs to be done. Because your child is being told through the device, they are less likely to complain or try to negotiate it away. It also doesn’t matter how long it takes for your child to complete the task. They mark it as complete once they’re done. You can also require photo confirmation of a completed chore. Some kids enjoy this feature because they have proof that they actually did the work before younger siblings and/or pets mess up what they’ve done.
Features of Homey
Homey gives you the ability to do the following:
- Set household chores for the whole family
- Assign out of the ordinary jobs to your child above and beyond their normal chores
- Track allowance and extra chore commissions
- Helps you teach your kids about money management, budgeting, and responsibility
- Allows you to pay child with cash or to do money transfers into your child’s bank account
- Homey is available in the App Store, on Google Play, and on Amazon
Installing & Initial Setup of Homey
Homey is an app with a lot of features so it does have a learning curve. Once you’ve figured it out, however, it’s pretty straightforward. If you have difficulty, ask your kids to help you or check out their extensive manual. Here’s how to get started.
- Download the Homey app
- Create your family account – Choose from 3 options:
- Basic for up to 3 family members (FREE)
- Unlimited ($4.99 per month or $49.99 annually)
- Add family members. TIP: When adding birthdates, choose the year first and then scroll up or down to find the month and day.
- Add the chores you’d like your child to do – or download some premade chores to get you started. Some are free. Some are paid premium content.
- Install Homey on your child’s device. TIP: It is possible to use Homey with only one device, although its full usefulness will only be realized if you and your children have it installed on separate devices.
How to Use Homey
The next step is to create and assign chores to various family members. There are two ways to assign chores to your child. You can either import chores from Homey’s chore packs or you can create your own. There are step-by-step instructions for using each of these methods inside Homey’s app manual.
Once you have the chores set up the way you want in the app, you assign them to each family member.
Again, there are detailed instructions on how to do this in the Homey app manual. The tricky thing I encountered is that if you want to assign one chore from a chore pack but not the rest, you may do that. But after assigning the desired chores, you need to swipe through the remaining chores in that pack before the DONE button will appear.
If you want to create your own chores, you can do so by clicking the button seen in the picture below.
The app will walk you through the process of creating the chore. The awesome thing to keep in mind is that you can choose how often you want to have your child do each chore and you can even give them a deadline and force them to take a picture of the completed chore, which will then get sent to you. This means no more nagging!!! Woo hoo!
Homey won’t be for every family. But if you’re tired of reminding your kids to do their chores, and you are even the least bit technologically savvy, then you’ll definitely want to check it out. Try it for FREE and see what you think! If you’re interested and you want to learn more, check out Homey’s website and/or on their Facebook page.
It’s important for our kids to learn the responsibility which comes from doing chores around the house but the process doesn’t have to be as frustrating as it has been in the past. For once, technology is on our side. Take advantage of this opportunity to take the chore out of chores!