I am often asked how a household my size flows and LOTS of questions about how it stays somewhat neat. Honestly, some days are easier than others but I’ve learned that for our family our life works best when we all work together. From a very small age, Derrek and I have included the kids in on everything we do to keep our home in working order. We found that the more the children feel empowered, the easier it is to have them doing “their part” on their level. This most certainly means, throwing perfection out of the window because let’s just face it… it’s not going to be perfect. The focus is just having them contributing in the daily and that increases their self-esteem and reduces sense of entitlement.
Even if you don’t have large households, I do feel like it is important to set our children up for success by giving them basic chores. This teaches them that everyone must do grunt work in life that isn’t always fun but needed to do to function in life. It helps form a natural reaction in children to pitch in and help by having to do their chores. I think that it is also very important when making chores for each person that you figure out what they can actually do with their skill level.
You can work on getting your younger ones to put their cups from the dishwasher into their cabinet. Or do you have older children who can help vacuum or sweep the floors?
One random chore our children love to do is fold socks. You can only imagine how many socks our family goes through on a weekly basis so we have sock folding breaks on the weekend to fold socks. I normally tell them however old you are is how many pair you have to match from the laundry basket but funny thing is that they get into a rhythm and it turns into a game so they fold way more than they had to #winning. Of course, some chores they absolutely hate but growing up, I did too and still to this day I hate some chores. I cannot stand to scrub a toilet but I do it in my house when I have too.
How do you get your children started on chores?
I think that the way you approach it is the key. We make sure to explain to our children why each person in our home has to contribute in order for everything to flow easier. Tone and attitude is everything here. We all do chores as a family and put on worship music while we do it in our home. Mercy at age 2 can clean up her blocks, toy bin or some small area and loves to hear the “clean up song” on YouTube while she does it. The older children have laminated chore charts that we keep on the fridge in our kitchen -template shared below- with chores based on their age level (check Pinterest for chores based on age) and things that need to be done in our home. Nolan is 8 so he has more chores than the rest of the children and Scarlet Reese is 4 so her chores are very simple. If the older children do their chores for the week, making sure to check off things as they go, then at the end of the week they get their weekly allowance.
I really do believe that starting chores at a very early age and encouraging your children to have more control will inspire them to try new things in life and be helpful. I am personally committed to raising good humans in this world and having daily chores is something that most defeitly brings character. Mercy and Scarlet Reese are a lot younger than their older siblings so it’s not about the chore being done but the action of the chore. They are very eager to help and if I let them fold the kitchen cloths or wash the windows they are very excited to be mama’s special helper! I am very vocal with our children about the choices we make for our family and especially things that include them. They are my children but we are a family and I want them to hold an equal part in our lives and also feel like they do.
Consider adding in chores for your entire family and also find that your load as a mother will be greatly reduced. We can do all the things but not all the things in the same day. Having other people helping in situations that apply to everyone has really helped us as a family unit. Whatever chore is, even if it is just hanging your backpack up after school WILL make a positive impact on your home life and your children’s success. Make sure to make this work for them in their life too, be easy with criticism, timing and level of skill with the chores.