I see it happening every day, all around me. Harried and overworked moms trying to juggle way to many balls in the air at the same time. Running here there and everywhere all while trying to maintain a clean and organized home.
How do I recognize it?
That’s easy, it use to be me. I’ve been there and I hope to never to go back.
There are two distinct changes that we made as a family to slow down, carving room in our lives to just be, while reducing stress and saving our sanity.
1. We stopped spending so much time on scheduled activities
2. Everyone contributes in some way to the household responsibilities
Today I’d like to talk about #2….household chores responsibilities and why it’s important to get your kids involved.
First let me just say this. I’m not an expert. I’m a mom who never recognized the power of teaching my children to be contributing members of the household and have since seen the error of my ways and done something about it. And you can to. It’s about everyone in the family pitching in and helping out.
I just can’t stress enough how important it is for children to have regular household duties.
To contribute to the running of the household, everyone doing their part, means not one person is shouldering all the responsibility alone.
It means everyone in the family works as a team.
Many of my friends think I expect a lot from my kids. I don’t see it that way at all. Yes they have responsibilities and yes I believe them to be age appropriate. Does it mean I never have to nag them to do these tasks? No of course not. Does it mean I never have to go behind them to provide gentle correction? No of course not. But it’s not about perfection either. It’s about teaching kids’ responsibility.
The key for us is consistency, correction and consequences.
Here are the responsibilities of my big kids.
Daughter (age 12)
Daily: Pack lunch for school, assist with supper as needed, clean up kitchen after supper, piano practice and homework
Weekly: Clean toilets/sinks, dust main floor, major bedroom tidy, put clean laundry away, change her bedding
Son (age 9)
Daily: Pack lunch for school, unload dishwasher, sweep floor after dinner, homework
Weekly: Clean glass/doorknobs, empty household garbage cans, tidy playroom, major bedroom tidy, put clean laundry away, change his bedding
I have used many different chore chart systems over the years but currently I am using clip boards hung in the kitchen, with a weekly responsibility sheet attached (see below), allowing them to check off tasks as they are completed. This has been working extremely well for us. Now when they come to me to ask if they can do something (insert fun: TV, computer, friends, Wii, etc) I just have to ask them to bring me their chart so I can ensure everything has been completed. The responsibility is theirs and I have to tell you my stress is less.
If you are interested in downloading the charts I use with my kids I’ve included the links below.
For younger kids, charts with pictures might be more appropriate and effective.
Age Appropriate Chores:
If you are looking for a list of appropriate chores, this is one of the most thorough age specific responsibility lists I have seen.
Online Chore Tools:
My Job Chart ~ online chore chart, teaching kids to work
Childzilla ~ online chore assignment, tracking and reward system
Handipoints ~ a fun way to earn cool rewards for completing your chores
PAYjr ~ chore & allowance system
It’s not too late, get your kids involved today!