Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!


How to Get Your Kids to Finally Do Their Chores

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

In a culture where bad behavior in kids seems to be growing rapidly, employing your child to contribute to the family, home, or your community, can greatly curb your child’s bad behavior or potential for bad behavior.

Katherine Reynolds Lewis, author of The Good News About Bad Behavior, says that when kids aren’t asked to contribute to their family, neighborhood or community, “that really erodes their sense of self-worth — just as it would with an adult being unemployed.”

In addition to this, chores and work help teach your child self-control and self-discipline—both of these are important characteristics to have as an adult.

Chores and work help teach your child self-control and self-discipline—both of these are important characteristics to have as an adult.

As valuable as chores are for your children, most likely, if you’ve been a parent to a young child, adolescent or even young adult, you know that getting your child to do chores can feel impossible. They argue with you, they throw temper tantrums, or they just plain ignore you when you tell them to clean their room or do the dishes. The battle it requires to get your kids to do chores often takes longer than doing the chores themselves.

I recently talked about this with my friend Rachel Cruz on her show The Rachel Cruz Show.

In our conversation, I discussed a few ways to ensure your child does his chores and learns the value of hard work and obedience.

Reward them for their work.

Growing up with Dave Ramsey as her father, Rachel says she received a “commission” for her chores—an allowance that she could use however she wanted, as long as she did her chores.

We all know kids need incentives. They are not mature enough to know the long-term benefits of doing chores. They need something in the here-and-now to encourage them. Lay out a reward system for your child when he does his chores. Whether it’s a commission, ice cream, an outing to his favorite arcade, make sure it’s something that will motive him enough to complete the task and feel rewarded when he’s done.  

Stick to the consequences.

Just like you have to lay out a clear reward system for your child to do her chores, you also need to lay out clear consequences for when she doesn’t complete them. No work? No money, or video game time or whatever her reward is.

This is where parents fall down. They don’t want to implement consequences because it so often results in a temper tantrum or simply requires energy you probably don’t have at the end of the day. But sticking to the consequences is so important because if you show your child that you’re not serious about the consequences, she won’t do her chores. She will quickly figure out that she will still eventually get her reward anyway, so why put in the work?

Tell your child what the consequences will be if she doesn’t complete her chores, then stick to them.  

Don’t let your child argue with you.

When kids don’t want to do their chores, they draw you into an argument. They argue about why they should have to do their chores or when they should do them. Parents, don’t take the bait. When your child starts arguing with you, he’s stalling. He’s trying to get out of doing the work.

Never argue with your child. Depersonalize it. Simply say, “I’m the one who makes the list of chores and if you do your chores, this is what you get. And if you don’t do them, this is what the consequence will be.”

The argument is a trap. Don’t fall into it.

Kids need to know how to work. They need to know what self-control is and they need to feel like they are contributing to their home, family, and community.

It might feel like an impossible battle now, but the work you put in will pay off, not only to get your kids to do their chores today, but to instill in them a healthy work ethic, the discipline of self-control and the joy and purpose that comes with being a useful, and employable, part of society.


Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love! It’s private, pre-loadable, and you can personalize it! Visit


Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription. Crunchlabs packs the fun into science by sending kids a new toy to build each month. And everyone’s favorite youtuber Mark Rober’s teaches them how! Kids LOVE IT! Go to and get yours today!


Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals – now that same technology is available at home. Masimo Stork tracks real time, with your baby’s pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and skin temperature. While not a medical device, it can ensure more confident and calmer parenting. To learn more, go to

Website-Dr. Meeker (8)
Feeling a a bit uneasy about having "the talk" with your son or daughter?
Dr. Meeker is here to help! “How to Talk to Your Kids about Puberty & Sex (ages 8-18)” is her most comprehensive course ever and she’ll equip you to have that conversation with knowledge, confidence and sensitivity. Check it out!

More Tools to Simplify Fatherhood