Finding a way to motivate your kids to do chores at an early age, as early as two, can help them not only learn important life skills, but also help you accomplish more in a day. “It’s not easy to be a teacher, mentor and rule enforcer, all while trying to balance everything else in your life,” writes Dr. Bethany Cook, in an article recently made available to media outlets. Dr. Cook is a Clinical Psychologist, Health Service Psychologist, Adjunct Professor, and Board-Certified Music Therapist.

According to Holly Tiret and Rebecca Hodges in a Michigan State University Extension article, “Chores benefit children and parents alike. They are an important way for you to help children feel like they are contributing members of the family household. This, in turn, helps them to learn a sense of belonging and the value of being a contributing member of a group. This value can grow as they do.”

Dr. Cook says that offering your children age-appropriate chores is a great way to help your kids build self-confidence as they successfully complete tasks, which improve the flow and functioning of the family system. Here are three simple tips to motivate your child to get their chores done.

Make it fun by making the ordinary extraordinary
If you have wood floors, you could strap some rags to their feet and have a "dance cleaning party” as you scrub and polish.  “We all enjoy doing things when we are having show them how it's done,” writes Dr. Cook. Bring magic to the ordinary to make it fun!

Keep It Simple Smartie (KISS)
Break it down into easy to do parts and present it in its most basic form.  For example, for matching socks, gather the single socks, spread them out and have your child find the match. “Make it a game and whoever finds the most matches wins. Put matched socks away in their proper drawer,” suggests Dr. Cook.

Mean What You Say and Say What you Mean
Being firm yet kind might be the best recipe to expect consistency with expectations/offering privileges and makes it easier for all parties involved.  According to Dr. Cook, some parents don’t realize the negative long-term impact of not enforcing rules when their children are young. “They won't need constant hand-holding forever if they are empowered to confidently complete tasks which benefit themselves and the family in the moment. We all want to feel needed and helpful.  So let them,” writes Dr. Cook. “Having the ability and inner strength to follow through with the boring but necessary task in any job is a gift that will forever be with them and set them up for success in whatever career path they choose.”