6 reasons why your child won’t do his chores

June 06, 2018
  • 1 / 7

    It’s so annoying when you ask your child to complete a simple task, such as finishing his homework or putting his toys away in the cupboard, and his response is “why do I have to do that?” Life would be so much easier at home if he didn’t keep posing these infuriating questions. What starts off as a request for his support turns into a challenge, which can eventually explode into a full blown argument if tempers start to run high.

    If you find that your child constantly challenges you with the “why do I have to do this?” question, don’t ignore it in the hope that somehow the problem will resolve itself. Instead, ask yourself the following questions.

    Related: When should my child do chores?

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  • Have I explained why?
    2 / 7 Have I explained why?

    Perhaps he doesn’t understand the need for such requests. For instance, he may be quite happy that his room is in a mess or that his school assignment isn’t ready on time. From his perspective, he might genuinely not realise the significance of what you ask of him. So make sure you give reasonable explanations. Explain to him the positive effects of completing the task and also outline the potential negative consequences if he doesn’t.

    Related: 12 ways to use positive discipline with your child

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  • Am I being fair?
    3 / 7 Am I being fair?

    Your child could ask the dreaded “why?” questions because he considers that his siblings don’t have to do as much as him. Children have an amazing ability to convince themselves that they are hard done by in their family. Therefore, it will probably help to point out that he is not the only one at home who is asked to contribute to basic household chores. And if you conclude you are being unfair, distribute the tasks more evenly among all of your children.

    Related: 4 tips for teaching your toddler to stay safe at home

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  • Do I give my child enough warning?
    4 / 7 Do I give my child enough warning?

    Breaking off from an interesting and absorbing activity in order to tackle something far less exciting it quite a challenge for a young child – he would much rather continue with what he is already doing. An advance warning that you will want him to do something else in a few minutes will give him time to prepare himself mentally for the transition, possibly resulting in an altogether more positive approach to the task.

    Related: How to manage your 3 year old’s tantrums and bad behaviour

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  • Is he allowed choices?
    5 / 7 Is he allowed choices?

    The less control your child has over his life, the less connected he’ll feel. In contrast, if you give your kid a choice of chores, for instance, whether he would prefer to clear the dishes after a meal or clean the table, then he’ll feel empowered. His commitment to task completion will be higher because he feels he has been involved to some extent in the decision-making process. Older preschoolers and primary schoolers can also learn to use electrical appliances that are safe for kids, such as the Bosch Unlimited cordless handstick vacuum cleaner that’s easy to handle and maintain.

    Related: Toddler discipline: 10 common mistakes new parents make

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  • Am I flexible in my approach?
    6 / 7 Am I flexible in my approach?

    Although you’d like all requests attended to the moment you mention them to your child, the reality is that they don’t all have to be carried out at that exact moment. In many instances, the tasks can wait at least a few minutes. Likewise, if your child has a genuine reason for not doing what you ask (perhaps because he is busy with another important activity), then maybe he doesn’t need to comply. Flexibility is necessary sometimes.

    Related: 4 tips for a safe and child-friendly bedroom for your kid

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  • Is his reluctance a sign of a deeper problem?
    7 / 7 Is his reluctance a sign of a deeper problem?

    If you think that his constantly challenging you isn’t solely about what you are asking of him, and that it is part of a wider pattern of difficult behaviour, then you should try to tackle what is really troubling him. Maybe he feels he doesn’t get enough attention, perhaps he is having difficulty with his friends, or it could be that he finds school work too difficult. The only way to know is by talking to him calmly and sensitively.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: Are you rewarding or bribing your child for good behaviour?

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