Doing Chores Together
For your tween to want to spend time with the family, you must make a special effort to remain positive and find ways to sprinkle some fun into the daily mix of household chores, yard work, and errands. Otherwise, your tween probably won't find the time spent with you and other family members particularly pleasant and will avoid it.
Tweens will gladly participate in activities they don't particularly care for because they involve pleasant one-on-one time with a parent. A child who has no interest in cars may enjoy helping Dad change oil because Dad is relaxed and in a good mood. That makes hanging out together fun.
If you're trying to get the housework over and done with ASAP, your tween's presence may be more of an irritant and distraction than a help. Slow down and enjoy the process so that your child can participate too; soon, your tween will know the procedures well enough to provide some real help.
Part of the reason tweens resist helping with chores is because they dislike being rushed and ordered about. Take turns cooking dinner, and when it's your tween's turn, make suggestions but let her be fully in charge. She can be responsible for planning the menu and making a shopping list. When it's time to cook, ask what you can do to help. If she can't think of anything, offer to set the table. And don't forget to compliment the chef!
A child who can do fourth-grade math should be able to help you balance the checkbook. When washing the car, begin by putting on your swimsuits. When shoveling snow, take time out to make snow angels and build a snowman.
During the holidays, let your child help decide what gifts to get for whom and handle some of the other tasks that leave you feeling overburdened. Too often children are filled with holiday excitement but relegated to the sidelines with no way to participate. Let her help select the greeting cards, address the envelopes, and write the messages.