My 10-year-old daughter has a problem with doing her chores correctly in a timely manner. For instance, she's famous for taking 3 hours to wash the dishes. She wants to go outside and play or get on the internet and we tell her that when she's done with her chores (dishes, wipe down countertops, sweep kitchen floor, for example) she can go outside. But she takes forever and by the time she's done, it's night time and too late to do anything. Or she will sweep the floor poorly and leave the broom and dustpan in the middle of the room and she's out the door before we realize it.
Here are the things we have done, not in any particular order:
- Had a heart to heart where we explained that she is part of a family and we all have responsibilities, etc.
- Grounded her
- Taken away her toys/computer/books/insert thing she enjoys
- Asked her why she takes so long: "It's boring and by the time I'm done it's dark and I can't go outside." My thoughts, not yelling at her: "Because you take so long to do it because you don't want to do it that it's dark so you can't go outside."
- We've tried giving her an allowance based on performance
- Done the chores with her to make it fun/show her how it's done properly
- We have even called her grandfather who treats her like a princess because maybe him showing disappointment would drive the point home. (it hasn't.)
She'll do okay for maybe a day or two but then she goes back to slopping through everything. I really don't know what else I can do short of spanking her, which I know from experience doesn't work because the punishment is brief and over with fast.
She's a sweet girl, she doesn't give us any attitude and doesn't flat out refuse to do her chores (yet) and this has always been a problem that I thought would fix itself as she got older, but it hasn't. You would think that she would do things quickly to get them over with so she'll have more time to play, but it's not happening.
I don't think she has any attention problems as her grades in school are very good and when she wants to do something she has no problems focusing. And she doesn't really misbehave much. I'm close to just removing any responsibility from her and her father and I can just do everything ourselves but I think that's what she wants, and I don't want her to grow up thinking she can take advantage of people or if you stick your heels in long enough you get what you want.
How can we encourage her to complete her chores in a timely manner?