By the time your child has reached the teen and/or tween years, he is usually ready to take on a variety of chores and responsibilities. Along with the benefit that the family will get by getting him to do his fair share, your tween will benefit from learning how to help out and be more responsible - skills that will carry over well into the future!
Related: Teaching Kids Responsibility
Chore Charts: Getting Started
If you have never required that your child do any chores, you may need to hold a family meeting and explain that you feel he is now old enough to take on more responsibilities. By putting the emphasis on the fact that he has reached an age where responsibility is a part of life, he will see it more as an opportunity, rather than a sentence.
Here are some positive parenting tips to successfully get your child to take on chores and responsibilities:
- Consider what chores and responsibilities you want him to take on and discuss these with him. Get his input as well, discuss what he feels would be appropriate. Together, create a list of weekly things that he will be responsible for doing. Make sure his duties are age appropriate, so he is not held accountable for something that is out of his reach.
- Give him chores such as feeding pets, taking out the garbage, setting the table, cleaning his room, helping with yard work, and even washing dishes.
- Avoid making chores a struggle. Use chore charts to track responsibilities and reward good behavior. Chore charts list chores and keep track of what he gets done. You can even implement a reward system, to help him earn rewards or an allowance for completing his chores.
- Hold him accountable, and be consistent. If you implement the chore system on Monday and forget about it a week later, you'll lose ground. But if you implement a system and are consistent in using it, your child will become more responsible.
Related: Responsibilities & Discipline - Making Rules Work
Responsibility is a Family Affair
It is important for kids to learn how to pitch in and be responsible. In every family, there are chores that every member can do. From kindergarteners to teens, there are things that each person can do to help keep rooms clean and the home straightened. If you help your child identify what his part should be and then implement a chore system to get it done, you will all be successful at helping to keep things humming along!