Cleaning the house regularly is way better than doing so only when it has become messy, filthy or stinky. A clean house means the people living in it are healthy and organized. Read on to find out how to get your family to participate in household chores.
Housekeeping moves in cycles, much like life itself, and disrupting this can lead to a home that resembles and smells like a pigsty. You and your family aren’t porcine so why have a home for swine? A daily schedule for regular household chores will keep this cycle going again. Ensure that this schedule complements and reflects the individual and collective habits and routines of family members.
Six Essential Tips
Certain issues need to be addressed before you can come up with a schedule that actually works. These need to include the frequency of cleaning tasks that require to be performed on a day-to-day, weekly, monthly or seasonal basis. Regardless of when they are done, here are six essential tips to get your family to do chores regularly, efficiently, and willingly.
1. Assign Age-Appropriate Chores
Children mature at different paces. In assigning chores to them, bear in mind that these should be age-appropriate. The majority of children in particular age ranges will be able to do certain chores if they are capable physically and mentally of carrying them out. Toddlers, for instance, can learn how to pick up their toys after play and put them back in storage. These chores should be part of their daily routine
Older children can look after pets, wash the car, and rake leaves. Pre-teens should make their own beds, do the dishes (on alternating basis), clean their own rooms, and vacuum or dust weekly. Teenagers can be tasked with thorough cleaning of some appliances such as defrosting the ref on a monthly basis, do the grocery shopping (on alternating basis), preparing family meals, and doing the laundry.
2. Use Chores for Teaching Life Skills
According to Dr. James Sears, who co-authored “Father’s First Steps: 25 Things Every Dad Should Know,” kids learn responsibility and how the world works when they load the dishwasher, mow the grass or do the laundry. When kids do chores, they learn that work is a requirement in one’s life and that performing household tasks is really more than just helping out but are lessons in life skills.
3. Chore Time Needs Variety
Alternating chores among family members will help boredom from setting in. Rotating chores prevents favoritism and develop competency in kids in various areas. Moreover, parents can see what potentials their kids have in certain skills such as cooking or problem-solving while doing grocery shopping.
4. Eliminate Complaining and Whining
If there is complaining and whining, enforce the policy of “Two-for-One.” This involves giving the complaining or whining child another chore on top of those already assigned to them. This teaches children that complaining and whining won’t get them anywhere. This also instills discipline in them to follow rules and helps them to accept work with good attitudes.
5. Earning Privileges Instead of Money
Make a chart to make it easier for all family members to keep track of what they do on a daily or weekly basis. The chart should include a column for “remarks” on which chores have been completed, which ones need improvement, etc. Let everybody earn “points” for jobs well done and exchange these points for “privileges,” not money, since kids could equate money as the only compensation for working well.
These privileges may include having some friends over after doing the dishes promptly or using the car on a weekend after washing it. Some parents, however, tie allowances to chore completion as an incentive for a well done job and consider payment for doing tasks as fair compensation. While this is an entirely personal call, other parents would prefer that “privileges” are better alternatives for motivating kids to do chores well.
6. Be Realistic About the Timetable
A 12-year-old can do the laundry but not in an hour and not the laundry of three older brothers or sisters. Ensure that the timetable you have set for chore completion is realistic based on what the chore involves. Assigning completion time should also be based on the child’s ability to perform the chore. A toddler who is flat-footed, for instance, may not pick up his/her toys as fast as his/her siblings to complete the task.