TGIF! – Boy, has it been a long week! What began as ‘Easter Break’ morphed into a week long ‘Spring Break’ off school. Three kids (plus friends) home full time leaves a lot of time for mess making, but alas… the mess needs to get cleaned up and I’m not about to do it all myself! There is no “I” in team!
These days, family’s are busy and it is more important than ever to get your team working for you! Remember, your job as a parent is to teach your children independence. “Chores” are little life skills that teach your children how to care for themselves and for their environment. Kids of every age can be helping out, no age is too little. Start by teaching your children how to properly do the chores and then let go of your guilt– I’ll repeat it again — You do not need to do everything yourself!
You must allow your children to help around the house. After all, they live there too! If you do not ask them or encourage them to help out, chances are they won’t. They might not do the chores perfectly at first, but eventually in time they will. Be sure to praise your kids when the chores get completed without asking — nag free chores are the BEST!
Here are a few suggestions to help get the chores done smoothly–
1. Keep it age appropriate. Eg; counting out the plates for dinner, filling up water glasses, doing their laundry.
2. Reward them! I love the Melissa & Doug Reward Chart — it makes it easy to change up the chores weekly (so there is never a dull chore moment) and each token earned garners them a quarter. You don’t need a fancy chart by any means, in fact, any old piece of paper will do!
3. Be clear. The chores need to be defined. Empty the dishwasher, set the table, wash the dishes, dry the dishes, empty the garbage and take to bin. Discuss with your children what each chore entails.
4. Let your children have some say in what chores they would like to do. If you are giving them 4 chores, allow them to pick 2 and you choose 2. This way, you are able to encourage them to do the chores that YOU want done, and they are allowed to do some of the chores they prefer.
5. Chores don’t have to be work… they can be fun too! “Whistle while you work”, turn on some tunes and have fun!
Feeling like a part of a family team is important for everyone in your whole family! Chores can be a great way to teach the old adage, “Many hands make light work!” If everyone in the family team helps out, the work gets done quicker and there is more time for fun!