Parenting and Coaching Tweens to Get Chores Done

By Dr. Caron B. Goode 

Kevin's comment: This is an excellent article that can be applied to children of all ages. Reading and reflecting on it really helps one understand not only your child but also yourself. If you ever wonder why you and your child continually butt heads, this article can help. It provides insight in understanding not only your childs personality but your own. It has given me a whole new perspective in understanding my children.

sisters doing their choresTweens have a lot on their plates. They have school, friends, extracurricular activities, and impending puberty. It’s no wonder they have a hard time remembering their chores!
Common sense tells us tweens don’t remember chores because they are not important—to them. To tweens, chores may seem senseless. To parents, however, regular chores represent a sense of responsibility and belonging. Chores introduce tweens to the concepts of teamwork and time management. They also help build self-esteem and self-worth through pride in a job well done.
Before chores can teach these lessons, however, children must actually do them. Therefore, chores can be an effective parenting tool only if you master the art of motivating your tween.
Charts, reminders, and well placed notes are all ways of motivating your child. These methods can be very effective, but they can also be very time consuming. If time is something you have precious little of, take heart. There is a way of motivating your tween that does not increase your already heavy workload.
Motivating Your Tween With Personal Style
One of the most effective ways to motivate your tween is to consider his or her personal style first. Personal style is how an individual responds to people, time, situations, and tasks. One person may value relationships above all else. While another feels that punctuality is most important. Still others may strive for speed and efficiency.
Knowing how your tween responds to chores is the key to keeping her on track. These responses are determined by her personal style. There are four personal styles—cognitive, behavioral, affective, and interpersonal. Most individuals have a combination of traits from all four, but are typically dominant in one. Use the chart below to identify your child’s style and how she responds to tasks. By observing and interacting with these responses, it is possible to successfully motivate your tween with less conflict.
Getting Chores Done with Personal Style

*To be told how to do chores first
* Having plenty of time to complete chores
* Being given a deadline
*Not being given ample time to finish a chore
 *Feeling as if efforts are unappreciated
* Being rushed or surprised
* Being interrupted
*Tell your child what chore you want her to do and how to do it. Then give her a deadline, making sure she has more than enough time to finish.
*Problem- solver
*Quick Acting
*Walks to her own drummer
*A fast pace
*To be given freedom
*To be told what to do and when to do it
*They are allowed to find shortcuts
*Being rewarded
*Wasting time
*Dealing with details
*Others trying to control them
*When others talk too much
*When others are act and react emotionally
*Tell your child what chore to do and when. That is all the instruction she needs. Don’t try to control her- allow her to complete the chore in her own way.
*Easily loses track of time
*Being challenged in a fun way
*A fast pace
*Having fun
*Playing games
*When others are too task oriented
*Being confined
*Dealing with details
*When her achievements go unrecognized
*Tell your child what chore to do and give her a deadline. Since she tends to lose track of time, give her a generous timeline as a guide.
*Laid back
*To be trusted with important tasks
*A factual and practical approach
*To be asked instead of told what to do
*Others to define expectations
*When others don’t respect boundaries
*When her efforts are unappreciated
*Overbearing and forceful individuals
*When others take advantage of her helpful nature
*Ask her to do a chore and give her practical and proven instruction. Be sure to thoroughly outline your expectations so she knows exactly what you expect of her.
Identifying your child’s personal style can help you keep her motivated. Learn her responses, act on them, and generously praise her efforts. Soon, chore time frustration will be a thing of the past for you and for her.

Bio: Dr. Caron Goode is the founder of the Academy for Coaching Parents International, , which provides training and certification for students to operate their own Parent Coaching business. Her most recent book is Help Kids Cope with Stress & Trauma. Get the free parenting e-zine at  Caron and her husband, Tom Goode, ND, live in Ft. Worth, Texas.

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June 3, 2007

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