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Five Whine-Busting Secrets Revealed!

For most of us moms, chores are something we dread.  I haven’t met a Katy mom yet who looks forward to folding laundry, washing dishes, or cleaning the bathrooms.  If you’re that mom, you can stop reading this article, you don’t need to waste your time!  This piece is for those moms who do their best to clean up the messes, take care of the daily routine tasks, but often find themselves alone in the process.  If this is you, read on, there is hope for help!

Here are five easy ways to get your kids to help with the cleanup of everyday living – after all, who made the messes, dirtied the clothes, and left the peanut butter jar out anyway?

1. Offer a fun reward. Even folding the clean washcloths is more motivating with the promise of something fun attached.  Utilize rewards that are free for you, but make great bargaining tools, such as; a half-hour of child’s favorite show, reading time with you cuddled up on the couch, a 10-minute back rub, pudding!

2. Do it together – team up.  When you are working as a team, the work seems like less, and the chore time goes by quicker.  It’s not so overwhelming to a child to put away the dishes out of the dishwasher if you are right there near them, chopping onions for dinner.  They feel like part of the family team when all members are working together on a chore, instead of a scenario where mom is flipping the TV channels while little Joey is mopping the kitchen!

3. Remind, remind, remind without the nag, nag, nag! It is too easy to nag our children, especially as they get older, and as our expectations of them are increased.  I like to use the word “remind,” as it sounds more politically correct to your child!  It doesn’t seem to raise the “nag flag” in them, and, in turn, their defenses!  For example, “Honey, I just wanted to remind you that today is Tuesday, and it’s your turn to take out the trash!”

4. Lead by example. As much as we parents might not want them to, our children do as they see us do!  Our example speaks so much louder than any words or explanation we might use.  Younger children are really good at pointing this out, too, as my three-year-old daughter has been reminding me lately.  “Slow down, Mom!”  She warns me urgently from her car seat in the back.  “Be careful!”  No matter what I might be currently instructing my twelve-year-old son about safe driving practices, my current driving skills show the truth about what I hold in importance.  The same goes for household chores and the cleanliness standards we hold ourselves to.  There is no use in projecting a standard on our children that we will not hold ourselves to!

5. Flattery is key. Really, flattery?  Yes, praising your child is very helpful when you are trying to achieve compliance in the form of labor out of him!  Of course, I’m talking about the type of “flattery” that is actually relatable to your child and is used to build self-esteem.  For instance, it still works on my son (at twelve) to tell him I need “my handsome son’s help for a minute!”  Or, in my nine-year-old daughter’s case, I tell her I would love if she helped to bathe her baby sister, because “she’s so good at being the big sister!”  I mean the things I’m saying to them, and it’s good to vocalize such esteem building words to my children!  Plus, it usually works!

I’ll admit, these methods are not by-the-book, but then, I’ve never been that kind of parent.  I’m more of a tried-and-true type, and these simple ideas do work!

What about you, Katy mom?  Do you have any great suggestions for us in getting more help from our kids around the house?  Let’s hear them!

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