Doing chores with children is rewarding but does require time. Some may think that they can just teach and ask a child to do a chore and they will do it but I have found that this is not the case. Yes it is true that some children love to help out but most often it is because they are in the mood to help out. As a child I did very few chores because my mother never required it from me. I would of probably have done the same thing with my children but when my first three children were younger I had so much on my plate. I was going to college (taking 3 and one time even 4 classes), homeschooling two of them, and driving them to so many different activities (Taekwondo, art class, Awana, and more). I also liked having a clean house. So the teaching begin. At first Peter raked the plums under our plum tree. He sure did scream and complain. We had to meet up with our friends at the park and I told him we would not go until he raked up those plums. He did finally rake up those plums and we did go to the park but we arrived later than our friends. As the week went by Peter started to complain less and less. He knew he had to get it done and there was no point of screaming about it.
Note to mommy: When your helper learns a new job it can be far from your perfect. This is probably why some do not have their children do chores. Be patient because with time and practice they will do their chore well. I know you might be tempted to straighten their bed for them right after they made their bed but leave it alone. Teaching them these skills is far more valuable than having it perfect from the start.
Most importantly: Praise, Praise, and Praise them for doing such a great job. Let them know that without their help your house would not be able to run smoothly.
How do we do it:
Every one of my children has a list of chores. Usually each one does the same chore over and over because they are good at those chores and because Peter doesn’t want to do Esther’s chores. Over the years we have had all kinds of charts to keep track of who did what chore.
Peter sweeps up, vacuums, and takes out the trash. He also usually does the laundry.
Esther loads/unloads the dish washer and cleans the bathrooms.
Elizabeth organizes shoes and washes the floors.
Eve picks up toys.
My older two usually never complain when I tell them that its time to do their chores. They are used to doing them.
Every couple of months I reteach them their chores. This helps me to make sure that they are doing their chores correctly. At that time I also might have them watch u-tube videos on organizing their room or the right way to load a dishwasher.
When one of my helpers decides to not do their chore correctly for a week or more and I notice this my husband and I usually have him or her do that chore first thing in the morning for a week straight. This usually does not happen often but it has before.
Most of the time we all work as a team. It might be Peters day to do laundry and he will throw in the first load but if I or Esther see that its time to change the laundry we will do it. If Peter is working on his school work and the laundry is finished then I will put it away. At dinner time my helpers take turn setting up the table. After dinner usually Esther will clean the table, I’ll wash the dishes, Peter will sweep up the floors and take out the trash, Elizabeth will wash the kitchen floor, and Eve will clean up the things that don’t belong downstairs.
Right now I have four white boards for each of my helpers in the laundry room. I printed and laminated clip art pictures of their chores.
Esther cleaned the pantry without it being on her chore list so she received a star!!!
I love that as a family we all do our part. We all make the mess so why not all pitch in and clean it up.