How To Get Kids To Do Chores: Does The Maya Method Work?

How To Get Kids To Do Chores: Does The Maya Method Work?

Rosy does dishes. Getting the 2-year-old involved in chores did lead to the kitchen being flooded and dishes being broken. But now she is still eager to help.

Michaeleen Doucleff/NPR

If hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it.

But there it was, right in front of me: A preteen voluntarily doing chores around the house.

There was no fuss. No nagging or whining. And there were no visible rewards.

I was visiting Maya families in the Yucatan, reporting for NPR's special parenting series #HowToRaiseAHuman. While I was interviewing one mom her 12-year-old daughter went over to the dishes and started washing away — without being asked.

"She is old enough to understand what needs to be done around the house," Maria de los Angeles Tun Burgos told me through a translator. "Sometimes I go away from the house, and when I come back, I find the house cleaned and everything picked up."

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