Originally Posted by NellieKatz
How can you have the "we don't punish or reward" AND "chores are just something everybody does" when the child refuses?
It's an honest question. Mine just resists, refuses, delays, introduces huge melodramas "I'm tired," "I have a headache" "I'm thirsty" (you name it) whenever asked. How is this "it's just what everybody does" achieved? It's a vexing problem.
By setting a deadline with something the child likes doing at the end - not a reward, just something you'd be doing anyway, that can't be done until the job is done. For us, we go to the park after dinner everynight. The kids look forward to park time. After dinner I can say, "We can go to the park as soon as the dishes are done." For picking up their room before bed, I say "Let me know when your room is clean, and I'll come in for storytime." My child is 6, so what motivates him is probably different than what motivates an older child, but for an older child who, for example, wants to go to the pool with friends you could say "Sure! I'd be happy to drive you to the pool as soon as your room is clean." If you need to, you can adjust your schedule a little bit so there is something that motivates the child at the end. If they don't want to do a job on their own (like cleaning their room), I'll offer to help them if they'll help me with one of my jobs. This works out great for us!
Oh - and I don't give reminders or nag. I ask once. And then I physically leave the room to prevent myself from nagging. This is SOOO hard, and sometimes I fail on this one. But if the job doesn't get done, the consequence is that the fun thing at the end doesn't happen. Period. And if the job isn't done up to my standards, I take a deep breath and let it slide (unless it was purposefully done poorly). It isn't going to be done as well as I can do it - they are still learning. Sometimes I find a dirty dish in the cabinet. Sometimes there are still crumbs on the table after they wipe it down. The laundry is never folded neatly. I don't redo it. But when it's my turn to do the job, I do it well so they can see how to do it well.
As for chores my kids don't have a lot - I feel like they should have more, but like a lot of families, we are just so busy. They have to:
- Set the table for dinner (or load the dishwasher, or handwash the dishes, or fold laundry - each child gets to choose a chore for the day, but has to do at least one)
- Clear their own dishes after a meal
- Keep their room clean
- Help with housecleaning when asked