Including children in maintaining their home and helping the family is important to their development into responsible, successful adults. Plus, it takes a few chores off your list!
Choose Age Appropriate Chores
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a chore chart is giving your children chores that are too difficult for them. If you set them up with a task that is too hard, they will get discouraged and resentful of future tasks.
A good rule of thumb is that the number of steps in a chore should never be higher than the child’s age. So, a two or three year old can pick up toys, dust, or wipe up spills. A five year old can make their own bed, and help weed the garden. And, a thirteen-year-old should be able to do most chores you can.
Set Up the Chore System
Overall, what really matters is that your children get to interact with the chore system, for instance, by checking off completed chores. Common options include:
This version is the simplest. Just post a list of what you want done every day or every week on the fridge or other common place. Family members can initial next to the jobs they completed.
Make a chart with every member’s name and each day of the week. Each family member gets one or more chores a day. Many people laminate their charts so they can change up chores and children can cross out or erase jobs as they finish, each one.
Each family member decorates a shoe box. Every day, you place cards with chores written on them in the boxes. When the child completes a chore, they give the card back to you. This system is very helpful for small children because you can include a picture of the chore.
Keep them Motivated
The easiest ways to keep your children on track is modeling it yourself. Remember that your children need to be taught how to clean. You can’t expect an eight year old to load a dishwasher if they haven’t been shown how.
Many studies show that rewarding kids with money or toys is counterproductive. Rewards teach children that completing chores only benefits themselves. Try praising them for a job well done and point out the benefits everyone enjoys when they help keep the house tidy.
Of course, if you’re really busy or have a big job to be done, you can let the professionals at McMaid Home Services do it for you.