How To Teach My Child To Do Chores?

So you want to teach your child to take responsibility and to do the dishes.

I have heard it said that if a learning environment is boring or critical it decreases the learning by 80%. So  how is your child going to learn about getting the dishes clean and other chores if you nag or become critical about doing them? How will he engage with the activity of household chores if it’s a really boring job?  If you are critical and set a negative tone about chores, provide no entertainment factor,  then right away you will lose 80% of your child’s learning attention.   So learning that focuses on lack or deficit rather than potential creeps into many family settings without us even realising that it’s happened, and becomes a vicious cycle of “why won’t you ever learn?” (critical statement –  oops and again you’ve just lost 80% of  your child’s learning potential) .

It  is fascinating when you think about it.  Your child is not going to learn if you are critical, or if the task is boring,  however if you are like most parents especially when it comes to tidying up, you can become highly critical and don’t have an ounce of creativity in making it fun !   “I want you to tidy that up and  NOW !”…

You might not use these words, but the message your child gets is something like:

I don’t want you do what you are doing, doing the dishes (or other chores) are more important.

What you are doing has no value.

You have to be nagged to get you to do chores.

When I need chores  doing,  they need doing now.

I don’t want you to complain about  the chores  I ask you to do.

NO WONDER your child might be getting stuck in their learning about chores…  Here is an invitation, try to question all your beliefs that make you behave like chores are more important than your relationship to your child. Try letting go of any attachment to outcome, meeting your child where they are and notice how critical you can be…  As you notice these things, it’s so much easier for them to just fade away.   I also invite you to comment below and share how you get your child  to do the chores so you both enjoy it !

*boy was chosen as subject of this post please change it to girl if necessary!



  1. Great tips! I agree, it can’t be a hostile time. I like to tidy up right next to my kids. They enjoy the support but it can get burdensome to me.

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