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How can I get my children to follow rules and do their chores?

How can I get my children to follow rules and do their chores?

How can I get my children to follow rules and do their chores


How can I get my children to follow rules and do their chores willingly and without reminders?

Whenever were asked about how to get our children to follow family rules and do their chores, we always advise that the most important step is the process followed by the family in establishing rules and chores. Many parenting books simply say parents must make rules and have their children follow them. Easier said than done.

This approach fails because, to kids, parents making rules without their input often experience those rules as arbitrary and unfair. This creates a power struggle between parent and child leading to constant reminders, repeated punishments and family stress.

The key to getting kids to follow rules and do their chores is involving children in the rule setting process. Rules need to be negotiated. Parents need to understand that negotiation is not a dirty word and it does not mean they are abandoning their parental authority.

The rule creation process should start with parents stating their reasons and needs for a particular rule. The next step is asking the kids for their ideas. It is crucial for parents to listen carefully and to make sure they understand what their kids have to say. Understanding does not mean agreement. However, when a child, or an adult for that matter, is understood they feel that they have been heard and that in itself is empowering.

After discussion and some give and take a rule is then agreed upon by both parties. This creates a sense of ownership by the children. Rules that we own and that reflect our values require little prompting to follow. Again, it needs to be emphasized that this approach to rule setting does not mean that the parents have lost power. Instead, they are empowering their children by respecting and listening to the kids ideas. Parents retain their power as parents by knowing that the agreed upon rules make sense and that the rule is important. In addition, they are further empowered by experiencing their children following rules and doing chores without hassle or argument.
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