Before I began teaching outside of the home, I was very intentional about making sure my kids were involved with chores around the house. It kept tidying up manageable and the kids were accustomed to being ready for the day in a reasonable amount of time.
But all of that changed when I began to take on more responsibilities outside of our own home. As part of my New Year’s resolution, I began implementing chore routines back into our daily schedule. By involving the kids with daily chores, our life has become less stressful and has given us a lot more time to be together.
After almost 3 weeks off of work, I’ve been able to get back to basics and have begun building up our chore routines. I feel like we’re making head way in getting chores done quickly and without whining. I wanted to share the chore involvement tips and tricks that have worked for me. Keep in mind, not all of these have worked all of the time, but I’m hoping they will inspire you to find what works for you. ENJOY- and don’t forget to leave your own tips and tricks!
GETTING KIDS INVOLVED WITH CHORES STARTS WITH YOU
A quick google search will bring up hundreds of articles on how to get your kid involved in chores. But, before you dive into this topic, be sure you are thinking and acting on the following points:
- You need to model how the chore should be done. You will need to spend some time instructing the proper way to wash dishes, vacuum, do the laundry, ect….
- You need to set expectations. Telling your child to tidy their room without setting expectations can lead to frustration on both sides. You may need to give your child a rubric to show them what you expect when a chore is to be completed.
- You need to be consistent in setting chore discipline. It should be a whole family affair which can be really exhausting in the beginning, but to instill this responsibility you have to be committed.
INVOLVE THE WHOLE FAMILY
Families are feeling more and more pulled in different directions. We are over scheduled and over committed to so many things. It’s harder and harder to connect with one another. In order to get your whole family involved in doing chores, it’s vital to sit down and explain why everyone needs to work together as a family.
Conducting a family meeting is a great way to set rules, expectations, and to create a family motto on how the house should run as a unit. This is the buy in. Kids shouldn’t be doing chores just “because we said so.” They need to know the “why”. This is when each family member can add their solution to the “never ending pile of dirty laundry” scenario. When kids feel like they have more of a say in the chore matter, they are more likely to do their chores in a timely manner.
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CREATE A CHORE ROUTINE
Routines are one of the most powerful ways to keep order in your home. The structure of a routine keeps a family more productive, heathy, and happy! We have a morning routine that sets the tone for the day. It mentally prepares us for the day, even if we have an early morning where we are rushing to school.
The morning chore routine that I have helped set for my kids include eating breakfast, getting dressed, brushing teeth, making beds, and tiding rooms. If my kids aren’t dawdling, this chore routine can easily be accomplished in less than 30 minutes. By doing this every morning, the kids’ rooms stay tidy and require less and less time to pick up each day.
Experiment with what times of day work better for your kids. After lunch may be better for them to do a whole house pupa (pick up and put away) and a kitchen sweep. After you establish a routine, you can easily begin to add more chores to the routine as your child becomes proficient.
WRITE IT OUT
After you have established your chore routine, it may help to write it all out and create a checklist. Some kids respond very well to checking off a to-do list. I personally don’t do well with checklists, but I do have a child that thrives on them.
USE A TIMER
Timers can be a parent’s best friend. Timers can really help with kids who like to dawdle and not get their chores done in a timely manner.
This might not work for every kid. It may make them feel anxious about not getting the chore completed before they run out of time. But, if you have a dawdler, I suggest giving this a try.
CREATE A REWARD SYSTEM
There are a few ways to use this system. Rewards can be monetary or activity based. If you can afford it, try rewarding a small allowance for chores that are completed in a timely manner. Planning a simple family activity for chores finished at the end of the week is also a great strategy for motivating kids to do their chores.
A great reward system is the use of tokens. You can read Bonding With Children Through Boundaries to get some great ideas on how to set this up.
For example, at the end of the week if we have been able to keep up with the chores we splurge on pizza and have a movie night. However, if chores have not been done we make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and spend Friday night cleaning the house.
There are a million ways to reward your kids for doing their chores. Find something that works well with your family.
LET GO OF TECHNOLOGY
With so many distractions in our lives, chores will be the last thing to get done if we let it. Don’t let your kids get on their iPads, computers, phones, or televisions until chores are done. It’s that simple. You can earn your technology when all chores are completed. Chores are finished super fast at my house when that rule is set into place.
TRY CHORE MONSTER
This year I heard about an app to help track your kids’ chores. It has a video game feel to it. Chore Monster is an app that will make your kids “beg to do their chores.”
I gave it a try and it really does work! My kids couldn’t wait to check off their chores so they could earn points to watch tv or play video games. The app also lets you play a few monster games after you have completed a certain amount of chores.
PLAY CHORE BINGO
This might sound silly, but I play Chore Bingo just get my own housework done! We love playing this as a family. Make a list of 6 chores that need to be done. Using a dice, roll a number. Whatever number the dice lands on, do the chore that correlates with that number. Once the chore is done, cross it off your list. Continue rolling until all of the chores are done. We like to take 15 minute breaks if we roll a number that has already been called.
KEEP A CLUTTER TUB
This has been a life saver for me! Keep an empty tub out (I use a large one). As you go through the house and see things that have been left out, throw them in the tub. Then set a time each week to go through the tub as a family to put away the clutter. Anything that doesn’t get put away gets thrown away!
I hope this post has inspired you to start involving your kids during chore time! Is this something you need to work on? Or do you have some tips to share of your own? Let me know in the comments! And as always, thanks for reading and supporting this blog!