How to Encourage Kids to Help Around the House

How to Encourage Kids to Help Around the House

Getting kids to help around the house can be a challenge, but it’s a valuable way to teach responsibility, independence, and teamwork. Here are some effective strategies to encourage children to contribute to household chores and tasks.

1. Start Early

Age-Appropriate Tasks

  • Toddlers (2-3 years): Simple tasks like picking up toys, dusting with a cloth, and putting clothes in the hamper.
  • Preschoolers (4-5 years): Setting the table, feeding pets, and watering plants.
  • School-Age (6-9 years): Making their bed, folding laundry, sweeping floors, and helping with meal prep.
  • Tweens (10-12 years): Vacuuming, doing dishes, taking out the trash, and helping with cooking.
  • Teens (13+ years): Mowing the lawn, doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and more complex meal preparation.

2. Make It Fun

Gamify Chores

  • Chore Charts: Create a chore chart with stickers or checkmarks to track completed tasks.
  • Reward Systems: Implement a reward system with points that can be redeemed for treats, extra screen time, or special activities.

Music and Dance

  • Play Music: Play upbeat music while doing chores to make the atmosphere lively and fun.
  • Dance Party: Turn cleaning into a dance party where everyone dances while they work.


  • Time Challenges: Set a timer and challenge your kids to complete a task before it goes off.
  • Friendly Competitions: Organize friendly competitions to see who can complete their chores the fastest or most thoroughly.

3. Lead by Example

Model Behavior

  • Show Enthusiasm: Demonstrate a positive attitude toward chores and involve yourself in household tasks.
  • Work Together: Work alongside your children to show them how tasks are done and to make it a shared activity.

Consistent Routines

  • Regular Chore Time: Establish a regular time each day or week for completing chores.
  • Consistency: Be consistent with expectations and routines to create a habit.

4. Teach and Guide

Instruction and Guidance

  • Demonstrate Tasks: Show your children how to complete tasks step by step.
  • Supervise Initially: Supervise their efforts initially and gradually give them more independence as they become more proficient.

Break Tasks into Steps

  • Simple Instructions: Break down complex tasks into simple, manageable steps.
  • Visual Aids: Use visual aids like charts or diagrams to illustrate the steps involved.

5. Provide Positive Reinforcement

Praise and Encouragement

  • Acknowledge Effort: Praise your children for their efforts and accomplishments, even if the task isn’t done perfectly.
  • Encouragement: Encourage them to keep trying and improving their skills.

Rewards and Incentives

  • Immediate Rewards: Offer small, immediate rewards like a favorite snack or a sticker for completing a task.
  • Long-Term Goals: Set long-term goals with larger rewards, such as a family outing or a new toy.

6. Make Chores Meaningful

Explain the Importance

  • Value of Chores: Explain why chores are important and how they contribute to the household.
  • Personal Responsibility: Emphasize the importance of personal responsibility and teamwork.

Link to Real-Life Skills

  • Life Skills: Explain how these chores teach valuable life skills they will need as they grow older.
  • Future Benefits: Discuss how learning these tasks now will help them in the future.

7. Give Choices and Control

Allow Choices

  • Choice of Tasks: Let your children choose which chores they’d like to do from a list of necessary tasks.
  • Order of Completion: Allow them to decide the order in which they complete their chores.

Control and Independence

  • Autonomy: Give your children some autonomy in how they complete their tasks.
  • Ownership: Encourage them to take ownership of their chores and the space they are responsible for.

8. Create a Supportive Environment

Family Involvement

  • Family Meetings: Discuss chores and responsibilities during family meetings.
  • Collaborative Effort: Emphasize that everyone in the family contributes to maintaining the household.

Tools and Supplies

  • Proper Tools: Provide the right tools and supplies for completing tasks effectively.
  • Accessible Storage: Ensure cleaning supplies and tools are easily accessible to your children.

9. Address Resistance Calmly

Understand Reasons

  • Listen: Listen to your children’s reasons for not wanting to do chores.
  • Problem-Solve: Work together to find solutions to their concerns or objections.

Stay Calm and Patient

  • Calm Approach: Address resistance calmly without anger or frustration.
  • Patience: Be patient as they learn and adjust to new responsibilities.

10. Celebrate Successes

Acknowledge Achievements

  • Celebrate Milestones: Celebrate milestones and major achievements in completing chores.
  • Family Celebrations: Plan family celebrations or special outings as a reward for consistent effort and good teamwork.

Reflect and Adjust

  • Regular Check-Ins: Regularly check in with your children about how they feel about their chores.
  • Adjust as Needed: Be willing to adjust tasks and responsibilities as needed to keep them motivated and engaged.


Encouraging kids to help around the house can be a rewarding experience that teaches them valuable skills and fosters a sense of responsibility. By making chores fun, providing positive reinforcement, and involving them in the process, you can create a positive and supportive environment that encourages active participation. Remember to be patient, lead by example, and celebrate their successes to keep them motivated and engaged.

Fun Science Experiments for Kids

Moms’ Guide to Raising Kind Kids