Do you ever get frustrated with your kids when they refuse to do chores?
Most parents I meet have a belief that chores are important skill sets for kids to learn. And yet, they often push, pull, threaten, shame, or force their children to do them. Sound familiar?
Inherently, most children have a high value on play and being social.
Developmentally, they haven’t reached the stage where working and taking responsibility are high values. Understanding this gives you a “leg up” as a parent.
Instead of coming to the conclusion that they are lazy, selfish, and irresponsible when they balk at your request, use your creative adult capacities to link play and social to the task at hand.
Once you embrace this “secret sauce” you’ll support your child in learning a lifelong skill of linking what they don’t enjoy to something they do.
I know working out is good for my body and yet to be consistent I link it to my high value of being social therefore working out with a friend.
The same goes for cooking. I enjoy cooking as long as I’m doing it with others. Otherwise, it feels like a dreaded chore.
If you find your child resisting ask yourself what can I link to this task that make it more appealing to my child? Creating a positive association to a task registers in their neural pathways as pleasurable. When asked to do the task again there will be a greater chance of cooperation and intrinsic motivation.
I STILL hate to unload the dishwasher because of an early association around being pushed and forced to do something while missing out on the creative endeavors I longed to be doing. What about you?
Take some time this week, to experiment.
When asking your child to do a laborious task (for her/him) use your creativity to engage in doing it in a playful way. Take those lonely grueling tasks and create a social experience.
It’s always easier to do things with a friend or support.
Anything that is high on your values list will be easy and fun to do. Anything low on your values will be difficult without linking it to how it will support your higher values.
Use this little magic to create and support the cooperation you are seeking with your children.