Did you know that in 2014 a household chore survey was conducted on roughly 1,000 U.S. homes? Do you know what that study found?? Well, it showed that 82% of parents did chores as a child, however, only 28% of parents surveyed require chores of their children. Interesting right? Well, you know what kiddo? So and so isn’t my child and I expect my children to do chores around the house. It’s that plain and simple. We are an 8 person, 2 cats, 3 dogs household and don’t plan on being the only one to maintain the house. Everyone lives in the house, therefore, everyone is expected to do some type of chore everyday. Now does that mean we leave in a spotless, well-organized home? Oh heavens no!!
That just means that they are expected to help out. We believe that chores are helpful to children in a variety of ways. I want my children to understand that housework is an inevitable part of life. It’s not something they just have to do for a few days and then they are rid of it. No, it doesn’t work like that buttercup! So with that being said, we need to do more than just send them to school, so that they can become academically smart. We need to provide them with an idea of what is needed to manage and maintain a home. I mean come on let’s face it housework is an integral part of life for EVERYONE. But do my children feel the same way? No, of course not all they see is that in our house, there is a seemingly endless list of chores to do.
So what does this lead too? Frazzled and frustrated parents who are tired of constantly nagging, reminding, and dishing out consequences simply to get the tasks at hand completed. So why do it? Is it worth the never-ending battle??
Believe me, we have tried it ALL, from chore charts to screaming fits. And my fast thinking children engage in housework sabotage, selective hearing or simply decide they aren’t doing chores today. It’s at times like this (which aren’t very often) in our household that not only do the noise levels and everyone’s stress levels go up but so does the stacks of dirty dishes and the never-ending mountain of dirty clothes.
So what is a parent to do? Should they negotiate with their children about their chores? Should they demand that it be done and that’s it. Well, that isn’t going to accomplish much. I can tell you from experience children can be VERY strong-willed when it comes to not doing chores. (It’s not like if this is a new concept for them they have been doing chores since they were tini-tiny and when their mind to it they can leave the house spotless but they don’t always)
I found these family tested strategies help. Let me know what you all think?
1. Don’t Pinterest Pretty Elaborate Chore Charts- Make your own plan
Now I LOVE Pinterest dearly but this is my recommendation. You have no idea how many pins I have on chore charts how much time I have spent making them. And all for what?? So that they can be lost and forgotten in a matter of days!! Now maybe not everyone is like me. Maybe other people can follow through and use their pretty elaborate chore charts. But, I’m just letting yall know this did not help me out. So I figured step number 1 for me would have to be to start thinking on my own. So now that I know that I need to take responsibility and motivate my child to do what is asked of him and not expect a chart to motivate them.
2. Start them out young with small chores
This has got to be the easiest way to get your child to help with housework. When they are little they are so eager to help you out in any way they can. It gives them a sense of being “big”. Some parents may feel that little ones are too young to help out with chores. They just don’t realize how capable little ones are. Did you know that studies show that children who start chores by age 3 are better prepared for adulthood than those who start with chores later on in life. Now I am not saying that children who don’t do chores aren’t going to be successful. I am simply stating what the research found. However, we all know that success in anything is not just because you did or did not do one thing. It is an accumulation of many things that lead up to the success.
Here are some sample chores that I have had my children between the ages 1-4 years old help:
- put away toys
- help bring shoes, diapers, wipes, pajamas, really anything simple that they can reach and bring me
- take dirty dishes to the sink/ dirty clothes in the hamper
- wash fruits and vegetables
- turn off/on lights
Here are some chores for children ages 5-7:
- make bed
- help load dishwasher
- bring in the mail
- feed pets
- clean room
- help rake leaves/pull out weeds
- help take down groceries and put them away
- take out clothes from the washer/dryer
Some parents may say why even bother having a little one do chores I am just going to have to go behind them and do it again. This might be but we still need to let help contribute to the housework in any way they can. It will give them a sense of accomplishment.
Here are some chores for children ages 8-10
- help sweep/vacuum
- take out the trash
- set table/put things away after the meal
- wash dishes
- fold/hang/ put away laundry
- help prepare meals
3. Hold family/kid meetings
I find these to be helpful in our house not magical but helpful. Why? Well, because it as these meetings that talk about the things we want to get accomplished and what we are going to do to accomplish them. It helps my children feel like they are being involved. For example, I’ll ask who wants to make breakfast? lunch? snack? What are we going to eat? They enjoy these type of free choices. Now we don’t do this everyday. It’s random here and there. On occasion, I have also given them the choice of chore they wanted to do that day. They will go off into their kid meeting area and come back with a plan and in all honesty, I have found that when I give the children a free choice of chores they tend to do them not only faster but better. Does it always work this way when they decide. NO, but sometimes I luck out and it does. (Yay! Me)
4. Praise when praise is warranted
My children love to get Movie night with pizza and popcorn or will get ice cream, jerky sticks or any little treat. Again this is not always. Sometimes a simple “Thank you I loved the way you cleaned…..” or “I really liked the fact that I didn’t have to tell you a million and one times to do your chore.” Is enough. I tell my children often that they best thing you can receive is love and happiness. Because being rich in love and happiness means a lot more than being rich with money. I know money is important to live but I would like them to learn that sometimes the best things in life are free. So, I will leave you with this to ponder. At the end of the day, the cleaning wars will always be. No matter how great of a cleaning plan your family has housework will never disappear entirely. But we also need to understand as parents that sometimes you just have to let the piles grow and go outside and make some memories with your children. Afterall, they are only little once and cleaning the house can be done later.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to follow us please subscribe……
Happy Cleaning! May the Clean Floors be with you.