Pitchin’ In – Simple Ways to Get Your Family Involved

February 12th, 2013 posted by Colleen Langenfeld

girl washing dishes We all have ’em.

Families that would rather do a million other things than…

  • clean the garage.
  • do their homework.
  • make their beds.
  • walk the dog.
  • practice their musical instrument.
  • do the dishes.
  • put their clothes away.
  • scoop out the litter box.
  • hang up their coats (or towels).

Get the picture?

If you’re tired of nagging, begging and even pleading to get your family members to help out around your home, listen up. There’s a better way to get the cooperation you want.

Help them see the benefits Everybody likes to eat but no one likes to clean up? Well, when ONLY those who work, eat, suddenly work looks much more appealing.


Teens and adults definitely like to have a say in their environments. If someone truly detests a chore, it’s a reasonable thing to arrange a swap with someone else. Bottom line? There is work to be done and everyone must pull his or her own weight.

Put them in charge

Assign age-appropriate tasks to family members and then let them fail…naturally. Consequences are an important part of life and when we inappropriately shield our kids from those consequences, we can be doing them a disservice. If it’s 14-year old Johnny’s turn to fix dinner tonight and he ‘forgets’, the whole family will be knocking at his door, complaining. The key here is to not give in and call for pizza! Unless someone’s ill, missing a meal will not hurt anyone. Or, serve bread and water as the replacement meal. Chances are, Johnny will not forget again.


If the adults in the household are balking at doing their part, it will be virtually impossible to get the kids to fall in line. Healthy households are managed from the top (adults) down, which means the adults must be mature enough to assume the leadership roles meant for them. If you have a spouse who doesn’t believe s/he should pitch in, try the practical approach. Suggest exchanging favors with each other. You’ll do something to free him/her up if s/he will agree to promote more helpfulness around the house. //


This is my favorite idea because it puts smiles on faces and everyone wins. Whatever the task, do it together. As parents, our children crave our attention and time spent cleaning the bathroom, making dinner, and folding clothes are genuine relationship-building moments. Smart families know that if you start the teamwork at a young age (preschool), over time you’ll develop young adults that will listen to and respect you as parents, are more responsible in general, know how to work in a group and will be competent in many of life’s daily tasks when they leave the nest.

Play regularly

A solid way to get kids involved around the house is to teach that if we are going to work hard, we are definitely going to play hard. Plan out those fun times and put them on your schedule, just like the other important events in your life. If your kids learn you are serious about playing hard regularly and that it’s tied to taking care of everyday responsibilities, they will learn to cooperate fast. Wonder if these ideas can work? Try them. Pick one or two you like and customize them to fit your unique family. Plan a strategy that will make things better around your home. Practice your plans awhile and make adjustments as you go. Your leadership and involvement is key in getting your troop working together like the family team they were meant to be!

Colleen Langenfeld (4 Posts)

Colleen Langenfeld offers helpful resources to working moms. Make your life feel easier, healthier, smarter by reading our One Good Idea ezine. Start by visiting http://www.paintedgold.com and clicking on the happy kids' picture now!

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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