I am a believer in having my children do as much as they are able to help around the house. Not only does it teach them responsibility, it helps me keep things going more smoothly around the house. No matter your child’s age, as long as she is walking and talking, she can start learning to lend a hand. Oftentimes, toys and other distractions make keeping young kids on task a challenge. By implementing a chore chart and a few unique rewards, my kids actually look forward to chore time!
When chore time comes around, one of the best motivators in my house is the promise of a favorite activity. My daughter loves to dress up. She also loves to paint her nails and borrow my makeup. I don't usually let her paint her own nails or use my makeup, but when she completes her daily tasks, I let her know she can do those things we don’t normally do. She can’t wait to show me how grown up she is to pick up her toys when she knows some very special rewards are waiting.
When chores are done without complaint, I will let my kids choose items from the dollar section at the craft store. They love the process of picking out what they want without Mom telling them what to do. I let them get their own baskets and lead me around the store for once. Last time, my daughter made these adorable bookmarks for her friends.
Sometimes it's extremely motivating to not let your kids know what the reward is going to be. I will often tell them that once things are done, we will go on a surprise adventure. They are so excited to see what I have up my sleeve that I never have to nag about cleaning up! Our last surprise adventure took us to our local park where my son and I went on a treasure hunt.
One of the most motivating rewards in our house is the promise of breaking a rule. All day long I tell my kids to be careful, watch out and hold hands. So when I offer them some freedom, it is really exciting. Of course, I only break rules that won’t result in anyone getting hurt. And I always let them know that it is a one-time event. Our last broken rule was playing in the car. It sounds funny, but my kids had a blast crawling around the space where they are constantly strapped in. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to vacuum my entire car while they played!
My favorite reward of all is simply letting my kids know that when they have completed their responsibilities, I will extend them the privilege of choosing their own reward. Sometimes they will choose an adventure like going through the car wash or to the park. Sometimes they will ask for a small treat or toy. Whatever they choose, as long as I think it is appropriate, I will gladly accommodate.
How about you? What are some of your favorite rewards? Share in the comments below!
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