I've been searching for some ideas for encouraging the boys to do chores. I'm going to try chore bingo. I am going to make cards for all four of us (nine squares for the boys and 25 for the adults) and put them on the fridge, and as we finish a chore we can put a magnet on that square. First one to get a Bingo wins some kind of special prize. The boys are so competitive, hopefully this will motivate them to help out around the house.
I'm a big believer in kids doing chores. When I was reading all about unschooling, I found most of the parents were on a big "anti-coercive parenting" kick. Don't force your kids to do chores. Or clean up after themselves or be responsible for their own things. I thought a lot about what they had to say. I decided I don’t agree with that philosophy at all.
I don't know why this rubs me the wrong way so much. I guess it hearkens back to my childhood. I come from an extremely rural part of Louisiana. We had a huge garden. I had to get up at 6am every day during the summer and on Saturdays and Sundays during the school year to help in the garden. We planted, watered, harvested, shucked, and preserved about 80% of the food we ate during the year. We were also expected to help with all the household chores, every day, on top of our homework.
I think chores have great value for a child. It helps a child learn basic life skills. It helps a child learn to appreciate what he has. It helps a child learn responsibility, and that other people are relying on him. It can help a child learn cooperation skills. It gives child a sense of accomplishment and worth. How great do you feel when you finish a job completely, especially when it was challenging? It helps the child feel that he has a real role in his family. He feels that his contribution is important.
How do you feel about chores? Do you have a trick or two that you use to encourage your kids?