family chores

Since the kids were able to pick something up and drop it, we’ve tried to instill a habit and responsibility of chores.  I firmly believe that children are able and should be hard-workers, and diligent in their responsibilities.  I believe it’s biblical.  I feel that they see this example in my husband and I along with all their grandparents.  Because we exemplify this trait, and teach them the biblical importance and applications  I have often wondered why it is met with such resistance.  We have made numerous chore charts, rewards systems, and rotating “jurisdictions” over the years.  It seems that these systems would work for a time, and then the excitement and momentum would dwindle and soon we’d be back to chores being a long drawn-out battle of the wills.  Just in the nick-of-time God came though.  Nick and I had an epiphany.  Correction.  Jesus came to the rescue.

Nick and Andre spent some time cleaning up Andre’s room.  Andre cleaned and scrubbed with a joyful heart.  He did and excellent job.  He was proud of his work, and glad to have such a sparkling room.  This is where the seed for our new choring method came from.  It’s not rocket science, but for us it’s life-changing.  Are you ready?  Okay, here’s the secret to training your kids to not only work hard, but also to work efficiently and correctly. Get this…clean with your kiddos.  Yeah, actually work side-by-side as a family.  What a mind-boggling concept huh?  Instead of naming off the chores and going your separate ways (here this leads to kids goofing off, taking five or more times longer, and parents becoming frustrated, which leads to kids becoming resentful and sad) WORK TOGETHER!  Here’s what we do:  I have my “team” helping put away and wash dishes, wipe counters, collect dirties, Nick has his team wiping the table and chairs, sweeping and spot mopping.  It takes us about 15 minutes or so and we’re done.  How great is that?  It used to be an hour of back and forth to get Isabel and Andre to put away dishes and clean up the table area.  Not to mention the attitude and arguments that went along with it.  Now it’s completely different.

It has been actually fun to clean with them.  They are all so proud and confident in the work they do, and so are we.  When we work together we get the job done lickety-split and done much better than if tired mama does it on her own when the kids are in bed.  When we work together the kids see that team work is the best work.  When we work together we are training them to do a great job, not a kid  job.  I like it.  They like it.  Our house is feeling more manageable.  I’m feeling less overwhelmed.  I love that.  Who knew such a simple concept could change the entire mood of the house.  We feel so much more like a family when we’re together.  If you don’t believe me check out Maple Valley Farm.  It just so happens that on the same week we change I read all about another family who does and loves the same thing.

One thought on “family chores

  1. Bethany L. Johnson says:

    Hey, I totally identify with this. The boys have a hard time sweeping the floor on their own, they can’t seem to find all the dirt. But when I grab the broom and make piles for the boys to sweep up it’s much easier for them. They are definitely more motivated to look for the dirt (because it’s easier for them to see when they are in piles). But when it comes to cleaning their rooms (picking up toys), I want them to realize what a big mess they’re making so I want them to clean ALL of it, so I’ve noticed that their attention span for doing that is very short, they start to play. We have decided that I still want them to clean most if not all their toys, but if I expect them to do a great job and take less time I need to be there directing it, if that makes sense. Also using that time to teach them about cleaning up after themselves when they’re done playing with a toy, if they start complaining about how many toys are out. But, yes, I totally agree with your post.


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