Motivating Kids to do Their Chores

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“Please go clean your room.”
“But I don’t want to.”
“But I am asking you as your mother to go clean your room. Please choose to be obedient.”

(At this point I’ll get one of two responses…)

*UGH! huff, puff, kick the floor and he moves like molasses* –OR– “NO! I don’t WANT to!” (child throws herself on the floor, kicks and screams.)

And there I am. The mother who thinks she is a witch for asking these little people to go clean up toys which might get stepped on and broken. I’m frustrated, tired, and at a loss.

I tried something new yesterday. It worked well. I’m hoping that this new strategy will continue to work.

If you’ve been a Reader around this blog for any length of time, you know that I have been dealing with my weight problem. It’s not a huge problem by society’s standards, but for me, it’s a huge obedience issue. And this is the Truth has been pounded into my brain recently: If you love me, you will follow my commandments. Now I know there is not a “Thou shalt not overeat” in the Ten Commandments. But those commandments do mention something about “not having any other gods before Me.” That’s the commandment I’ve been dealing with. I do love my Lord. I want to follow His commands because that behavior PLEASES Him. Even when I fall short and I sin, I know that I can try to obey the next time because God loves me and is wanting me to do well. He is on my side.

I decided to try this Truth with my kids. After all, the family is a picture of our relationship with God.

One of the things I have noticed recently was that my husband would get frustrated with the kids because of all the toys on their bedroom floors. Between all four of us there would be loud voices, tears, and threats of trash bags. Then I had this revolutionary thought: (at least it was for me)

What if I could get the kids to pick up their rooms because it PLEASED their father?

I tried it yesterday.

“Hey Kids! Daddy gets home in about 30 minutes. Let’s all work together to clean up the house. You guys clean up the toys in your rooms and I’ll work on the living room and dinner. It will PLEASE your Daddy to come home and see your clean bedrooms. Let’s do this for him!”

And off we went. No tears. No whining. No stomping of the feet.

“Hey Mama! Come look at my room!”
“Hey Mama! Come see my room!”
“You worked SO hard! Daddy will be pleased!”


And Daddy was pleased.

This might be a fluke, but I’m hoping to try this motivation in other chore areas. Maybe in the process I can teach the kids that we are to work as unto the Lord, and not for man.

I think the key to this is relationship. I am blessed to have a husband who has a great relationship with his children. And just as I desire to be more obedient to my Heavenly Father as I spend time with Him, my kids will desire to please their earthly father as they spend time with each other.

What other motivation strategies do you do to get your kids to help around the house?

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Motivating Kids to do Their Chores — 6 Comments

  1. You’ve hit upon something that workedfor us when the kids were young. Not only do they want to please me, they liked the fact that we were all woking together as a team toward a common goal. Even though Claire is nearly 15 now, i get more work from her when we’re all working in the house or the yard.

    When yours are older, another thing that really worked was choosing their own chores. Claire would rather clean both bathrooms, dust, and vacuum than to wash a dish. So, I get twice the work from her by washing dishes for 15 minutes myself.

    Praying that this brings continued success. Sandy

  2. I never really had, but I do like this one. We were teaching my son to save money, so he got a job mowing neighbors yards and we gave him extra by helping with extra chores. His goal was to buy himself a tv, it worked like a charm, he worked, earned and saved money bought not only a tv but a tv stand and had money left over. So we thought he would put it back in the bank….wrong…he spent it. When asked why he did not save it he said he there was nothing else he wanted. So we would think of things for him to save for..nope, was not interested. But at least to this day, he works hard, is responsible, has a good job (two if you include the PA National Guard), but still spends and doesn’t save, until recently – now he is saving to get his own apartment. So he still thinks that saving is for what he needs or wants something…how do we get him to save for a rainy day?? He always reasoned – the why’s and the how’s. But for cleaning…nothing could get him to clean his room. His last apartment was the cleanest he kept a place – his reasoning, it was his…Kids gotta love em! I will remember this hint for grandchildren!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thoughts? Please share!