“For Parents of Little Ones,” Friend, May 2016, inside back cover
Most children are experts at avoiding chores, like Ana in “The Laundry Monster” (page FJ2). They simply don’t want to have their fun interrupted.
Even when your child protests and procrastinates, keep at it. Create a consistent routine so your child knows what’s expected. Someday you’ll both feel the satisfaction of a job well done!
Give children a little time to finish whatever fun thing they’re doing. Set a timer and say, “When the timer rings in three minutes, it’s time to pick up the toys.”
Draw pictures of your child’s chores and some favorite activities on a sheet of paper. Slide it into a plastic page protector. With a non-permanent marker, children can cross off chores and circle an activity to do after.
Instead of saying, “No painting until after you clear your dishes from the table,” try saying, “After you clear your dishes, then I will get your paints out.” This small change in wording helps young children see their choice more clearly.
Make tasks playful. Play a favorite song and race to get all the toys put away before the song ends. Sing and dance while sweeping the floor.
If your child still resists, allow natural consequences. For example, when toys are left on the floor, they can get lost or broken. It can be hard to allow consequences to upset your child. Remember that following through teaches children the eternal law of the harvest (see Galatians 6).