Google+ Authentic Parenting: Shares, not Chores: Helping your Kids Help You Without Coercion

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Shares, not Chores: Helping your Kids Help You Without Coercion

Welcome to the June edition of the Simply Living Blog CarnivalAround the house cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about what we do to keep our houses liveable without losing our minds. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post. Join us on our blog hop with the same theme tomorrow!


At our house, we don't do chores for various reasons, the main one being that we don't use coercion as
a parenting tool. Yet even though we don't, it doesn't mean I have to do all of the housework all by myself, or even that we let our kids just treat us as their servant. We don't.

No chores doesn't mean your kids can't or won't help out around the house, it just relieves the idea of coercion, and replaces it with freedom of choice. Freedom of choice works out really well :)

Children are naturally inclined to help and imitate their parents. When they see you doing something, they'll most likely want to do the same. If you want your child to have a active role in helping you around the house, it's really important not to suppress that need.
Very often parents refuse to have their children help or try the adult work because they fear they might not be capable, will hurt themselves or break somethings. Then when the day comes, they are surprised to see their kids aren't willing to help them out around the house.

In order to nurture your child's helping hand, allow them to try out all of the things you do as soon as they show an interest. 

My 17 month old has been helping us sweep and clean up the floor ever since he could walk. Sure, I often have to lend a hand and it takes longer then when I would do it, but in helping him, in showing him the way, he gets the satisfaction of learning and knowing he helped mommy clean the house. 

Whenever I do something housework-y and my daughter is around, I'll ask her to help me. Mostly she's willing, sometimes she's not. I also explain why certain jobs are worth doing. Often, she'll suggest helping herself and I just make it possible for her to do so, safely. 
It happens that she's not able to keep an interest if the task at hand is very tedious, but that's ok. SHe's learning and she doesn't see the housework as a dread.

When given the chance, children are capable and willing to do various jobs around the house. Sometimes they just need some guidance, and someone to make it safe for them, but basically they can help you with just about anything. Taking the time to help them help you while they're young will pay off in the long run. 

image source: clogozm

  Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple ideas around their homes. We hope you will join us next month!    



  1. My youngest 'helps' out loads my eldest has never shown any interest!

  2. I love this post. I think you hit upon two main issues, both of which deal with consensual living. The term "chore" makes it sound like something you have to do but really don't want to. I can do the same task as a chore or a choice, and I find myself much happier when I view a task as my choice because I love the end result than drudgery I want to avoid.

    Secondly, working together as a family, and sharing tasks lends to a much better environment, both as it relates to household activities and relationships.

    1. yep, completely agree. I've learned not to see any of the housework as a chore, because I've realized that I can choose NOT to do any of the tasks at hand at any time (and the other way around too), £I've found that I actually greatly enjoy many of the small things

  3. Great post, thanks! My dad said over the weekend, "Parker is helping me clean the boat, and it's only taking twice as long." :) It's easy to turn down an offer of help when you know it really means more work for you, so this is an important reminder that it will pay off in the end.

    Jennifer @ Little Silly Goose

  4. It's amazing how willing kids are to help if given the chance.

  5. My boys are young now so I don't expect much from them besides cleaning their own rooms.

  6. It certainly helps when you've got more than one child too. I like this. I'm trying to teach mine to be a good little helper. So this is most definitely a helpful post!

  7. Great post! It really makes you stop an d think.

  8. I always were told to do chores...

  9. Yes, I agree. My toddler is very enthusiastic about helping around the house, and I am positive that if we continue to make it a fun and positive thing, then his enthusiasm will continue... perhaps when he is a teenager more rigid assigned chores may be necessary?

    I have featured you on this weeks <a href="”>Tuesday Baby Link-Up</a>! :)

  10. I need to remember this when my two year old wants to help out around the house. I let him a lot of the times, but the thing he most likes to help with is the thing I let him help with the least. He always wants to help cook and I hate cooking as it is so I just want to rush through it and be done. Maybe I need to slow down and nurture this side of him a bit more.

    Thanks for linking up at the Tuesday Baby link up a few weeks back. I hope you will stop by again.


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