My No Stress Method to Getting Teens to do Chores
Have you ever heard of the book, Parenting with Love and Logic? This book changed the way I look at parenting, in so many wonderful and incredible ways. One of the biggest lessons I learned is that children like to assert some sort of control, so the best way to get them to do something is to give them options you’re comfortable with and then let them choose. This way, they get to have a say in what goes on but at the end of the day, they’re doing things you want them to do.
So, I took this idea and ran with it because getting teens to do chores is not for the faint of heart. With six people in this house, football four days a week, five dogs, hybrid learning, me being a network marketer and a virtual assistant while running our hobby farm and learning to create digital artwork and starting my t-shirt biz (whaaaat) … y’all: this is a busy house. I can’t be doing a hundred loads of laundry a week or washing dishes twice a day. And with two boys in the house, there’s no way I’m touching their bathroom unless we are expecting company over. 🤣
With four kids, I made sure to come up with a number of chores that would make things even. GOD FORBID someone have one less or one more of anything! I came up with 12 chores to be done around the house, some are very easy like feeding our turtle daily or emptying the trash and some are more labor intensive like filling the dishwasher or cleaning the bathroom. Then, I took a piece of paper and cut it up into 12 even sizes and wrote everyone’s name on them; 3 chores for each of the 4 kids. It’s almost like reverse psychology mixed in with a little bit of Love and Logic Parenting.
Then, we let Lady Luck take the wheel (or maybe it’s Jesus, I don’t know).
I draw their names out of a hat, one at a time. When I pull out their name, they get to pick what chore they get for the week.
You see how Love and Logic ties in here? I’ve chosen what needs to be done, and they choose what they do. When it comes down to it, I don’t care who does the dishes, so long as they’re done!
It honestly is kinda fun to do the Chore Drawing, the kids cheer and boo each other and most of the time they’re laughing. Everyone goes along with what they pick, and it’s not too terribly often that I get a “but it’s not fair!” complaint because they know it’s all the luck of the draw. Not to mention, it’s their choice to do what they’re doing for the week.
An alternative to letting them choose is to go down the line of chores as we draw. This would be something like, “Okay, let’s see who is doing dishes this week!” and draw a name.
Either way, the big caveat/rule here is that no one can have the same chore two weeks in a row. That way if someone gets an ‘easy’ chore, then they don’t get to do it twice in a row. Keeps it fair!
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