To assign chores or not to assign chores, that is the question.
In our house the answer is: assign chores.
Chores get a lot of mention on mommy blogs. Some families are pro-chores, some are anti; some parents like to pay their children for the tasks they complete, and others are just wanting their kids to contribute, no incentive needed.
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I want our children to take part in the care and maintenance of our home. I am not going to send them up the ladder to paint our trim or into the bathroom to fix a leaky toilet, but I do want them involved in the daily tasks that keep our home in good running order.
It’s nice to let “kids be kids”, but it’s important to teach and encourage them to take care of the home and contribute to its proper functioning.
My children are 10, 7 and 3. My two oldest each have 3 chores that they need to complete every day (except Sundays). My 10 year old unloads the dishwasher each morning, sweeps under the table after dinner and vacuums one room in the evening. My 7 year old takes the recycling outside to our trash area, does one load of laundry and helps clean up the kitchen each evening. My 3 year old helps here and there. Her main task is to straighten the shoes by the door. (She is so funny and cute when completing this chore.)
Possible chores your child(ren) can complete:
- taking out the trash
- loading & unloading the dishwasher
- setting the table
- clearing the table
- wiping down the counters
- folding laundry
- feeding the pet
- watering the plants
- dusting the furniture
Payment with a Purpose
We do choose to pay our children each week for two reasons: motivation and the opportunity for money management. The amount of money given each week is not a lot, but they are excited to receive it. They are also learning to give, spend and save.
Our children do many more tasks around the house that are not assigned chores and not completed for pay. They clean up their rooms, put away laundry, help set the table and assist me with a wide variety of tasks when asked. We all (young and old) have a part to play in taking care of our home.
Extra ideas and Encouragement
Each evening when it’s time for the kids to complete their evening chores I play some fun music and join in the task of cleaning up the house for the next day. The kids love to throw in a couple dance moves while holding a broom or gathering the laundry.
Assigning chores and following through is not always easy. I am sometimes dealing with grumpy children; hence the music, it seems to boost moods. I don’t let unhappy kids or eye rolls keep me from asking the children to complete that which they have been asked to do. I know that completing these chores is building in them character that will last beyond these short years at home.
2 great books that inspired me and perhaps will do the same for you are:
Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruz
You should know that many of the chores you assign will not be completed to your standard. That’s okay. Encourage them as much as possible and offer “helpful hints” when appropriate. Work alongside your children when you can. Promote a team mentality and be positive. Grow together as a family as you work together to care for your home.
What about you? Do your children have chores? Share your triumphs and struggles in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
Until next time,