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Would you trade chores with your kids?

mom cleaning with daughter chores for kids
Drpixel/Shutterstock

Let’s face it, most of us don’t like doing chores, so it’s not surprising that children often resist them. Nagging is usually not constructive, and sometimes you can try every trick in the book to no avail. But what about trading chores with your kids?

Instagrammer Katie Klein (@littlehouselearningco) shared a hack she swears by in a viral reel. “If they read out loud to me, I’ll clean their room,” reads text on the clip that shows her kid and herself doing just that. “It gives them great reading practice, the room gets deep cleaned and they think they’re getting out of a chore!”

The homeschool teacher went into more detail in the caption, writing: “My child keeps me company (aka isn’t make more mess in another room), we get some school work done and the space gets cleaned. And I love it because they’re like my very own audiobook!”

Klein’s post received mixed reactions in the comments, with many parents disagreeing with her method.

“So you’re teaching him if he reads someone else is expected to do something for him?” questioned a dad. “He is the only one benefitting from this. Especially when he finds books he likes, he’ll be like hey mom can I read to you while you serve me and clean my mess??? Flawed logic here.”

“You are so kind,” wrote a mom. “I have 7 kids and I love them dearly, but they have to keep their own room clean and do their own laundry once they turn 9.” Klein responded, pointing out this is only for deep cleaning and her children have their own daily chores.

Others praised her with comments like “As a mom of a struggling reader who needs a little extra motivation sometimes and loves a clean room, this is GENIUS!”

“This is a lovely idea- I did a similar thing with music practice and after dinner chores,” explained another proponent. “If they serenade me, I clean the kitchen, when the music stops – I call for help with the dishes! Done light heartedly, and with joy. If you like hearing your children speak and play music it is wonderful. Also we do house- love/ chores together as well obviously. Having fun while doing what needs to be done. Living and teaching a well lived life.”

It may be difficult to get your kid to do (and appreciate) chores, but the benefits are pretty remarkable. A 75-year Harvard study shows that encouraging your kids to do chores around the house can make them happier, more empathetic, and more successful adults.
Of course, you want to make sure the tasks you’re requesting make sense for their age. Here’s a guide to age-appropriate chores, according to a Montessori expert.