5 Ways to Increase Cooperation When Kids Won't Do Their Chores

How do you feel about chores?

Cooking dinner.
Doing the laundry.
Cleaning the house.

I am not ashamed to admit that I hate the repetition of routine chores and household tasks. 

Despite my contempt, the reality is that things must get done. But how? 

If I had a magic lamp and 3 wishes, I'd abracadabra someone to cook, clean, and run my errands, so I'd never have to waste another minute doing things I dislike.

Of course, while I am waiting for my genie to show up, I need to motivate myself somehow to get things done on my own.

I resist.

I procrastinate.

I slide by with lukewarm leftovers and air-fluffed clothes for so long, until, finally, I muster the energy and inspiration to meet my responsibilities and cook a proper meal or freshen the sheets.

I can assure you that it isn't a sense of obligation or duty to my family that helps motivate me.

Even as a child, punishment never instilled in me the desire to finish my chores, or willingly make contributions. I complied because I worried about being judged, rejected, and blamed.

Mostly, those punitive actions made me angry and resentful - and my behavior? It was unreliable at best, and what suffered, even more, was the relationship with my parents.

A cycle of punishments - and then harsher punishments - created a lack of mutual respect and trust - two things crucial to positive behavior.

What I know now.

One of our goals as parents is to assist our children in the development of their intrinsic motivation - a desire to act without the external pressure to conform or behave solely to please others.  

Kids can ignore their chores for all kinds of reasons. If we can stop and be receptive to the reasons why they may be failing to meet their responsibilities, we have a higher chance of helping them develop the self-discipline they need to cope with things they don't like.

When they feel cared for, they are more likely to be motivated to contribute than if we force them to help.

In this TEACHable Moments video, I share 5 ways you can build cooperation when your kids refuse to do their chores.

It is so important to get really clear on what your needs are, so you can take care of them before you make requests of your child.

Forcing children to change their behavior with blame, shame, judgment, or guilt will leave you in a battle of wills - an ego-led conflict - with everyone asserting their desire to be seen, heard, and understood.

Click here for a handy infographic on pinpointing whether the challenges are: 

Developmental (Skills)
Dysregulation (Stress)
Relational (Support)

Learn what naturally motivates your children by working with them instead of against them.

And remember, it's about being conscious - not perfect!

Talk soon, 


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