Getting children to do ALL of their chores in a timely manner and with a good attitude can be challenging. My girls have some days where they are really into their jobs and others where it can be like pulling teeth to get them going. Children's attitudes can make the difference between a fun and pleasant day getting jobs done and an excruciatingly tiring day trying to force them to do what they need to do.
There are a couple of things that I really find that helps with keeping everyone focused on what we need to do on a daily basis, whether it be chores, school or getting ready to go out for a day of family fun. The right approach always seems to make a world of difference!
Start of with a "meeting" - I always have everyone sit down and explain exactly what is going to happen and what we need to do in order for that to happen. Outline your expectations for each child. If it is a cleaning day I explain that our goal is a clean house and I have a list ready of tasks we need to do. If we are preparing to go on a day trip, I have a list ready as well and explain that we can't leave until we accomplish the list first. I answer any questions and also delegate each task accordingly. If I expect team work I put an older child in charge of a younger one. I also go over what is expected as far as behavior. Children like to know what is expected of them ahead of time.
Work TOGETHER - If we have a lot to do, it would make sense to send each person in a different direction to get several things done at once. That actually does not work well. If I take that approach I will often find things not finished later on or find children playing instead of doing an assigned task. That is why we work together all in the same room on each task until it is done.
Offer a treat - This might sound like bribery (LOL!) but really it works well. Today we had a HUGE job ahead as we had several large cleaning jobs to get done around the house. Jobs like this can get boring for children over a long day but I find that if I offer a treat they keep on task much better. Today it was a simple thing. I said that I would buy a box of popsicles for everyone if the girls did a good job of helping. Sometimes I will offer to read a favorite book. Other times we will watch a family movie when we are all done. It doesn't have to be something you buy, just something you know your children will enjoy as a reward for a job well done.
Stay Focused - Try to eliminate phone calls or other distractions until all work is done. If your children see you focused on what you are doing, they are more likely to stay focused as well.
Make It Fun!- Play a cleaning game or dance to music while you work. Take breaks when needed, have snacks ready and enjoy your time together.
I find that in general, keeping my children close by me, in the same room, on a daily basis is what helps them to keep the best attitude and be the most willing to work on what they need to do. Whether it be school or chores or cleaning up behind themselves, if I am near by them they work together much better. Sending everyone off in a different direction just causes division and does not promote working together. Children learn to work together and work well by working together and seeing their parents working well on any task they do.