Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting Kids to Do Chores

My kids are 6, 4, and 2 years old and although young, I do want them to be in the habit of doing chores. Not for hours a day, but just enough to have a bit of responsibility, be helpful, and learn to take care of the house. Right now, at their ages, that means about 15 minutes of work required.

But I have struggled to find a way to motivate them to get the chore done well, quickly, and without complaining. Recently I've been doing something that is working amazingly well!

Have you ever seen
the Duggars on TV? You know the family with 18 kids and counting. Or is it 19 by now? I've only watched a few times, but I did notice they have a "buddy system" where they match an older kid with a younger sibling. The older is responsible for helping out with that younger child.

I never dreamed I could use any semblance of that system with only 3 kids, but with the chores, lately I've been assigning 2 of them the same chore, with the older child's job to help the younger one do it.

For example, my 6 year old son recently showed his 4 year old sister how to wipe down all the surfaces in the bathroom. Then she did it with him coaching for the 2nd bathroom. Also, my 4 year old is teaching my 2 year old to set the table before dinner.

What is so cool is that the kids LOVE being in the teacher/coach role and they do a really good job and the younger is eager to do something usually only the bigger kid does, so they are an interested apprentice.

I guess the newness of it all may wear off soon, but for now it is fun hearing them teaching each other!

"Now you have to wipe this part of the potty before you wipe this part, so you don't spread the yucky stuff around to the not as yucky part."

He was listening when I taught him a couple years ago!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday tips here.


  1. that's brilliant! How neat to see them taking on a leadership role and coaching the younger ones. I've only seen the Duggar's show once, but it sure does seem like they run a tight ship!

    Good stuff.

  2. I'm going to try this. I never really thought of my 2 year old as capable of doing chores, but I think she could handle it with a little big brother coaching. TFS!

  3. That's a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration! When it comes to chores, we can all use fresh ideas. :)

  4. Love it! Everytime I watch the duggars (which is not regularly) I find some great tip. I guess anyone with that many children has a pretty "kick-butt" system of some sort. :)

  5. luckily for me - the kids still like to clean the toilet! hee hee

  6. This is a REALLY good idea. I am going to pass it on to my daughter in law. She has 3 little ones too. 5, 3, and 9 months. Obviously the baby is too young, but the other two could do this idea. She tried my method that worked well of having a chart with the simplest of responsibilities on it (such as make my bed, pick up my own toys, brush my teeth, clear my dishes, put my clothes in the hamper, helped mommy when asked WITHOUT grumbling etc.) posted to a wall in the hallway between their bedrooms. If they did the chore on the day WITHOUT BEING TOLD TO they get to put a gold star in the box. The idea of course being to learn to do things on their own. As they get a little older the chores or responsibilites of course would change. I LOVE that little children are really soo anxious to help out and do well. Now if we could just figure out teenagers, haha
    Have a good day. Blessings, Deb

  7. Oh I can't wait till my son is old enough to do chores. It will be so nice to just sit down for a night while he does the dishes or cleans the bathroom. :)

  8. That is a wonderful idea. I have grands that might work with. Thanks, Doylene


I'd love to hear what you think!