How to get your kids to help around the house

My husband recently had a brilliant idea. It was to create a board with jobs the kids could do to help around the house. I referred to it as a chore chart; however, my husband insisted on calling it a job board. At first, I didn’t quite get the difference. A job, a chore… it’s the same thing, right? Then I saw how the kids reacted to the job board. Having a JOB assigned to them made them feel important and, DING DING DING, they wanted to do it. Seriously, they literally WANTED to clean up. My jaw dropped as I watched them happily do their jobs. Until the invention of the Neal family job board, cleaning up had been a struggle.


The way my husband made the job board a success was by involving the kids in the creation of it. They brainstormed the jobs and came up with what they wanted to do. My Kindergartner wanted to take out the trash. So we made it a job a five year old can accomplish successfully. She empties the bathroom trash cans into the larger kitchen trash can. Then she accompanies either my husband or I to the big trash bin outside when we take that out.

Making the bed was the next item. This is definitely something the four and five year old can do by themselves. Since the two year old has a crib and can’t really make her bed, she helps put pillows on the bed for my oldest daughter. Yep, my five year old already figured out that she can delegate part of a job to a willing two year old helper. My four year likes to make his bed all by himself and does it proudly each morning.The last item is cleaning up their rooms and the playroom/basement. They divide and conquer.

I love that my kids are learning responsibility through our job board. They’ve realized their part in taking care of their toys, rooms and the house and they do it with pride. For the most part, the kids have stopped dumping the bins of toys out onto the floor and have started putting things away as they finish playing.

To make our household function, there are jobs we all must do. With three small kids, it can get downright chaotic. Our new job board has helped reel that in. It prevents meltdowns because the kids now know what is expected of them. And (right now) they love doing it. Down the road we will add additional jobs that give them an opportunity to earn money (this is our plan in lieu of an allowance).

Team Neal before clean up time.
Team Neal before clean up time.

My kids’ honest opinions?
My Kindergartener- Sometimes I don’t want to do it, but I do it anyway. It’s MY job. And I like getting our baby (The 2 year old) to help me.
My four year old- I like doing my jobs all by myself.
My 2 year old: I want to help too!

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  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    I usually bribe my kids….I mean offer rewards. LOL. If they do their chores, we go on a fun family adventure on Sundays :)

  2. says

    I agree that getting kids to help out is important- for you and for them! It is good for them to learn to take care of responsibilities. I like your list. I also have my kids help with sorting the laundry.

  3. says

    SMART! My kids don’t ever want to do chores, but perhaps if I start calling them “jobs,” they’ll be much more motivated. Stay tuned.

  4. Kristin says

    We’ve made it a point to make the jobs a very positive experience for them. It helps them want to do it instead of forcing it on them. It’s been a huge change for us.
    When they start taking too long or procrastinating we’ll ask them how they would like us to help out. That way we aren’t taking anything away from them. It’s their job & they can do it :)

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