We’ve been struggling with the kids’ chores lately. They are old enough to look after their own things and help out around the house and we really want to instill contributing to the welfare of the family. They just aren’t interested in cleaning, it’s overwhelming to them and it’s just plain not fun!
Rather than allow them to think that Mom and Dad are their personal clean-up team, we have talked at length about what to do about this situation. After much discussion, we decided that extremely clear and simple direction was the solution. So, here’s our game plan and we even have a printable to go along with it if you’re interested in doing the same! It’s untested in our family, but we are excited and optimistic about the success.
We purchased three large tubs with rope handles for our three kids. We had them put all their toys that they cared about into their tub. Next, we asked the kids to look through their toys in the tub and also in the toy room (a place where very specific toys live..like baby dolls, toy crib, etc.) to see if there were any toys they could donate to little kids who don’t have toys. I’ll be honest, this was really tough for them because suddenly every toy was important…I get that. Giving away your own toys is really hard so they did a great job all things considered.
Once their tubs were filled and their toys had been gone through for donations, we talked about their chores and here’s the basic points:
- Every day you will have chore time when Daddy tells you
- Your daily chores are to A.) Make your bed, B.) Clean the family room and toy room by filling your bucket, C.) Complete one house chore like cleaning the windows (they LOVE doing this) or wiping down the kitchen table.
- Once your chores are completed, Daddy or Mommy will inspect your work
- If you have successfully completed your chores, you get a check mark on your Chores chart and $.25
- You have to do chores Monday through Friday but Saturday and Sunday are optional. You don’t have to do them but if you do, you can earn extra money
The kids love the idea of having their own bucket for their own stuff. This allows each kid to be responsible for their belongings and it also doesn’t put the burden of cleaning on the one child who is showing signs of responsibility while the other two continue to disregard their obligations to clean up after themselves. Whatever isn’t in the buckets is up for donation to others.
Some may think that we are bribing the kids with money to do things they should do automatically. But I actually look at it differently. I am also taking this opportunity to teach the kids the value of saving their money for something they truly want instead of spending it as they get it on little junky crap.
Like I said, this is untested as we are implementing this tomorrow and I’ll let you know how it goes. I am optimistic in the simplicity of this method and the kids’ excitement…this is the first time they’ve been excited about a chores plan we have attempted in the past.
The printable is here if you want to use it…just copy it into a MS Word (or similar program) document and print it out. If you do use it, let me know how it goes for you! Good luck!