Let your kids help!
Child one unloading the dish washer (and putting up the dishes where they go.)
One of the best things about being a parent is teaching your kids to be responsible. Chores, jobs, learning opportunities, or whatever you want to call them… they help kids contribute in a meaningful way and they also help kids appreciate their free time.
At a friend’s birthday party last night my wife and I were talking with the family’s grandmother. She grew up on a farm, just like my grandfather. Back then chores were almost a full time job for them as kids. Today, some parents seem to feel that a child needs nearly 100% recreational time with minimal to no expectation of the child helping in the household.
One thing often forgotten is that our elders still managed to have plenty of fun while doing their “chores”. Both grandparents have a ton of fun memories about growing up.
A healthy middle ground seems possible today, kids helping out where appropriate and still having plenty of pure play time left over. 🙂
My daughter loves to help with the dishes and the laundry. She also likes to work outside and is absolutely amazing at organization. Likewise, my son really enjoys vacuuming with the shop vac and he can’t get enough of helping with stacking firewood and just about any outdoor activity.
For getting your kids to help happily and without complaint, I can suggest being consistent and straightforward about it. Bribery is not required, I recommend simply letting the child know what is expected of them and when it needs to be done.
My wife is especially wonderful about teaching this to the kids and as a result the kids love to help out whenever they can. 🙂