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How to get the family to help with chores

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Between work, school, spending quality time together and doing homework, keeping on top of household chores can often take a back seat and frequently it’s left to one or two members of the family to get on with. But the increase the number of families where both partners go out to work full time means this can often feel like an unfair deal. Even if one partner stays home to look after young children, most of that time will be spent keeping them safe and entertained leaving little time for dusting, vacuuming, washing dishes and doing laundry. Here’s some tips on how to get the family to help with chores.

Change of attitude towards chores

The whole family lives in the house and everyone contributes to the chores needing done in the first place so there is no reason why they can’t all contribute to clearing up after themselves and each other. To make a change the first thing that is needed is a change of attitude (from you as well as the rest of the family) but there are also some practical things you can do to ensure you’re not the one left sweeping up after everyone else while they settle down in front of the television.

Expect help don’t ask for it

By asking for help you’re implying that it’s your job and you could do with a hand. Make sure your family know what is expected of them and remind them if they forget. After a while everyone will get into the habit of helping out around the house and doing chores should (hopefully) become second nature.

Make a rota

choresList all the tasks that need done and come up with a rota to divide them up fairly. A fair list doesn’t always mean everyone has the same number of tasks to do – take other commitments and age into account. For example, a five year old will take longer to tidy her bedroom than a teenager would and so should probably be given fewer chores to complete. Allow people to pick some of their own tasks as they will be more willing and will probably do a better job. If there are arguments over who does what then arrange for it to be taken turn about.

Set a good example

Once you have your rota on the wall don’t neglect it and whatever happens, try to ensure that you’re always up to date with your own chores. If you’re not following your own schedule then it’s unlikely that the rest of the family will bother with their share of the work. And if you’re lagging behind then you can’t really push the rest of the family to get on with it.

Relax your standards

Often the person that is left to do most of the housework is the person who has the highest standards of cleanliness and tidiness. Unless you want to go back to doing everything yourself then you might want to relax these standards a bit. Let people get on with their jobs in their own way and don’t criticise the end result.

Praise good effort

Kids especially love to hear that they’ve done a good job. Even if things aren’t up to your usual standard, as long as they’ve put the effort in they deserve a compliment. Making them feel good about their contribution will help make them want to do it again, which is exactly the result you’re aiming for.

Have a designated time for housework

Obviously some things will be done as and when they’re needed but for general chores it can help to create a set time when everyone mucks in. This makes it more difficult for people to get out of it as well as making the housework seem more like a team effort.

 

 

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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