Getting your kids to clean can often be quite a task in itself. These days it’s difficult to redirect your kids’ attention from the computer, their cell phones and video games back to their duties. With technology all around them for school, entertainment and social communication, it’s easy for them to forget that part of their duties include keeping things tidy around the home. While it may be easy to fall into the temptation of bribery, there are other more effective methods and reward systems you can use to get your kids away from the screens and back to your side.
Tip #1: Reward random acts of cleanliness
The best way to get kids and adolescents excited (or at least willing) to cooperate with you to do chores, is to acknowledge their efforts when they think no one is looking. While their random acts might be few and far between, it’s important for them to know that you see their contributions.
Tip #2: Printable Certificates
Kids love being rewarded. While they may love candy and toys, there’s something about a certificate that gives many children a sense of accomplishment and importance. Printable certificates are an excellent and extremely affordable (or free) method of motivating your kids to do their part and reward them when they do it well. Personalize these for the tasks they do best and let them know you appreciate their effort.
Tip #3: Give Coupons
This might be something that works better for kids, but only you can decide if it would be beneficial to your kids or not. Decide what chores need to be done and how much you think each is worth. Reward your kids with a coupon for TV time or their favorite dinner or snack once they’ve completed their chores. Another way to use this reward system is to give them coupons with pre-written chores. Once they accumulate a certain amount or fill up a page of a “coupon book” they can redeem them for a reward of some sort.
Tip #4: Get a Dry Erase Board to Help Keep Track
A dry erase board could be very helpful in terms of keeping everyone’s chores and everything that needs to be done organized. You can create a chart with names and tasks and let everyone decide who will do what. If you fear this may turn into a free-for-all, perhaps it’s best to assign tasks to everyone; you can later discuss and negotiate if there needs to be any changes. If all the tasks on the board are completed early or on time, you can then decide if you deem this worthy of a reward or not.
Tip #5: Allow Them to Trade Every Once in a While
More than likely your kids are going to run in to some tasks they probably don’t want to complete, whether it’s because they did it last week or because it’s just not their favorite. While cleaning isn’t usually something anyone enjoys, kids should have some freedom to choose the lesser of evils, unless you don’t think they can handle it.
Tip #6: Have Fun
Cleaning shouldn’t feel like slave labor. Sometimes it can be fun. Play some music and make a family event of it. If everyone is doing their part, things should get done much more quickly. Once everything is done and all is clean once again, take this time to enjoy your newly cleaned home and enjoy some downtime with the family.