If you feel like you and your spouse are the only ones in the house who (pick as many as apply): notice dirty dishes in the sink, pick up after themselves, put things away after using them and are capable or running a vacuum, it might be time to get your kids on board with household chores.
Granted, most kids are not born with an inherent desire to clean, so it will probably take a solid combo of encouragement, teaching moments and finding ways to inspire their inner tidy self to emerge. Fortunately, it’s not impossible to get the whole family involved in household projects — check out the following ideas…
3 Tips to Get Your Tweens and Teens Involved in Household Projects
Redecorate their rooms
If it has been some time since you have re-done the kids’ rooms, this can be a great way to motivate your tweens and teens to do more around the house. Typically, if a project has a direct impact on them, kids are more likely to want to be involved. Sit down with your kids and ask them what they would like to do the most to update their rooms, and then let them choose what they would like — as much as you can.
For example, if your teenage daughter really wants to paint her room the colors of her fave NBA team — go out and shop for Portland Trailblazer red, black and white paint and help her paint her walls over the course of a weekend. If your son would like a good set of shelves to store his collection of Funko Pop figures, let him a choose floating shelf set that you can mount right on the wall over his bed.
Realize that your way is not the only way
As The Spruce notes, sometimes tweens and teens do not want to help out around the house because they feel like nothing they do is ever good enough. Take an honest look at yourself and how you and your spouse speak with your kids, and make sure that you are being reasonable in what you expect.
For instance, maybe your son folds the clean towels in a different way than you do, and he has caught you re-folding them; if this sounds embarrassingly familiar, it’s no wonder he would rather play video games than help with laundry.
Remember: If the chores are getting done, it really doesn’t matter how they were accomplished. Reassure your tweens and teens that you don’t really mind how the dishes are loaded into the dishwasher, the front porch is swept or the piano is dusted — as long as it’s done, you will be happy.
Ask for their input
You might think that your kids turn a blind eye to the stacks of magazines on the coffee table and the thick dust on the TV, but they probably see it more than you realize. To get them on board with keeping everything tidy, try asking them what they would like to see improve the most about the house — their responses can help you determine what they will be asked to do.
As WebMD suggests, come up with a cleaning and household project plan that both you and your teens are comfortable with, negotiating a bit if you have to. For instance, if your tween doesn’t like to have friends over when the litter box needs servicing, ask her to take on this job with the understanding that you’ll have plenty of tasty snacks on hand for her and her pals.
If you have been tackling most of the household work and projects, it will probably take some time for your kids to get on board. By allowing them to “own” some projects, give them the freedom to find their own ways to clean and letting them choose their own chores whenever possible, you’ll be on the way to a much cleaner home.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I’ve accepted that for the foreseeable future, I will probably never have a home that will be featured in a Martha Stewart magazine—with kids, a hubby and 5 pets we have a lot of “stuff” in our home. I’m still working on accepting that my kids are getting older and some day they will move out….which means maybe I will get a shot at that Martha Stewart photo shoot one day!
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I have learned to appreciate that I’m a good friend to people and that I’m always there for them when I need them. I think I’m still working on appreciating how stepping on Legos at 2 a.m. in bare feet just means you have happy kids in the home who enjoy playing with their toys.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
My most rewarding achievement by far is being a mom. My two sons make me so proud and I love being with them. As for goals and dreams, I would love to rent an RV one day and drive around the country with my family.
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
My main imperfection that comes to mind is that I’m not great at getting enough rest. I have one son who is an early bird and one who is a night owl and so to spend time with each of them I’m typically up early and up late.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
A dear friend of mine once told me “You should never say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say to a best friend or your mom.” I really took this to heart and strive to avoid all negative self-talk, even when said in jest. I love my positive self-talk!