Getting Help From The Kids (Part 2)

By Contel Bradford

Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series on how to get your children more involved at home. Part 1 addressed how to get your kids to help with as few problems as possible.

What Are Your Expectations?

Dads should manage their expectations carefully when making attempts to get kids to step up and help out. You don’t want to be too critical of their efforts as kids tend to be very sensitive, even more so these days if you ask me. It can be tough, but going psycho over something simple could potentially lead to emotional problems later down the road.

So little Timmy didn’t make the bed with the level of precision you would have preferred? I would say look at the overall picture – the bed is made. Instead of showing your displeasure, let them know what improvements they can make to do a better job next time.


What’s In It For Them?

You don’t expect your kids to make your life easier for nothing, do you? Well, you could tell that them they better follow orders or else, but that may not be feasible if you want good results. After all, you wouldn’t deal with your annoying co-workers without being compensated for putting up with their shenanigans.

Many kids will not be willing to devote all their effort to helping without knowing they are getting something of decent value in return. Since rewarding them for every good deed could get expensive, you may want to consider an allowance. Maybe give a bonus here and there for the times when they really come through in the clutch. I’m a firm supporter of giving rewards when warranted.


Cracking the Whip

Despite all your efforts, there will likely be times when the kids fall off track and fail to do what they’re told. Maybe Julie didn’t do the laundry because she was down at Jill’s house. Maybe Billy decided not to clean up his room because Coach Jones made him run extra laps in gym.

Whatever the case, make sure you are prepared with a set of consequences for their decision. I would never tell anyone how to discipline their kids as we all have our methods. Some give a stern tongue lashing. Some ground their kids, or put them “on punishment” as my mom used to call it.

I will say that you should try to make sure the punishment fits the crime. If your son forgot to take out the garbage once this week, grounding him for the next month may be overkill. Likewise, a day with no TV may be too light of a sentence for the daughter who didn’t clean her room because she didn’t feel like it.


Get Started Early

Like I mentioned before, I put off the laying of the law, but I do think I got started early enough to get satisfactory results. It appears that the early you get your kids into the habit of helping out, the better. Consider it quality training that prepares them for the bigger and more exciting chores you have in store.

The good thing for dads with younger kids is that the pint-sized versions tend to actually enjoy lending a hand before discovering that work truly sucks. Many children are eager to help put away groceries, fold clothes, and give the cake mix a good stir.

I wouldn’t suggest making your 8-year-old daughter shovel the entire walkway, but she can surely keep the tables in the kitchen and living room spotless. I’m just saying.


Skills For the Future

By getting your kids to step up their game, you are essentially teaching them responsibility and providing valuable life skills that can be applied in the future. These early lessons may come in handy when they enter college, the workforce, or relationships.

Show your little ones how important it is to work together for the betterment of the household, and you will be helping them help you big time.


Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series on how to get your children more involved at home. Part 1 addressed how to get your kids to help with as few problems as possible.


Contel Bradford is a professional freelance writer, journalist, and published author of multiple books. He specializes in many areas, including legal, divorce, and family-related topics. You can learn more about his services by visiting

End of Content Icon

One comment on “Getting Help From The Kids (Part 2)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *