How to get kids to do their chores: Power Hour

How to get kids to do their chores: Power Hour

When I looked around our house on New Year's Day, I saw a mess. It was a happy mess, to be sure, with games and decorations and other evidence of our fun celebration from the prior night strewn about, but still a mess. I tried to ignore it. I failed. And then I declared Power Hour.

Power Hour is how I get all family members to do chores. It's simple and effective.

Here's how Power Hour works in my house:

1. Set the timer.

I'm a big believer in the full 60 minutes, but it's not required.

It's pretty amazing how much can get done in a relatively brief amount of time, and it can help keep the motivation up.

2. Make participation mandatory.

Part of the beauty of Power Hour is that everyone takes part. It's a group effort. I love that it promotes the idea of "We all live here, so we all pitch in."

It keeps anyone from feeling isolated or like they are bearing an unfair share of the work.

We don't pay for chores. Every family is different. Giving an allowance works for some, but I found Ron Lieber's argument for not paying in his book The Opposite of Spoiled to be persuasive. (You can read a review here.)

3. Assign chores.

Do this however you like - specific assignments, random draw, personal favorites, whatever works.

4. Crank up the tunes and get to work.

Music sets the mood, and there must be fun music for Power Hour. Speedy, upbeat tunes help you work faster and make it feel festive.

Yesterday, the Hamilton Mixtape served as our soundtrack, but it can be whatever makes your family happy. Or 80's music, which is never wrong.

We take turns picking tunes, and knowing it's their turn next can have kids eager for the next Power Hour.

Once you've got a good beat, commence cleaning with abandon. Dust, vacuum, scrub, go crazy.

5. Admire all you've accomplished.

Many hands can get a lot done. If you want to motivate further, have a little friendly competition between family members.

When you see how much gets done, you'll likely want to do Power Hour again.

We have Power Hour on the weekends, usually early before schedules get busy. We do it at least twice a month. I like to schedule it in advance, but impromptu works, too. It can even prevent a meltdown, as proven yesterday.

Prior Post: Survival kit for parents of tweens

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One trick for getting kids (and all family members) to do their chores it to have Power Hour on the weekends


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