What housework/chores are your children responsible for? How do you keep them motivated?
There are days when I would love to wave a magic wand and have a perfectly clean home, but unfortunately, magic wands are in short supply around here. Regardless of whether our children are little or teens or even young adults still living at home, keeping a tidy house is much easier when everyone has a role. Plus it’s important that our children learn to clean so they can take care of their own homes one day and it’s important that they contribute as well as consume in our homes.
It can be challenging to figure out just what children’s household responsibilies should look like. For little children it may be as simple as having a quick 5 minute pick up each night or unloading the silverware from the dishwasher.
When our six children were young we had a basket on the stairs where random items ended up—socks, books, toys, etc. We established the “Take 2” rule: Everyone going upstairs had to take 2 items each time they went. It was easy and worked like a charm!
As our children grew, their responsibilities grew as well and involved cleaning bathrooms, washing cars, mowing lawns and helping with household projects. If I’m being truthful, some days it seemed easier to do everything myself rather than remind, cajole, and nag them to get their jobs done. Once the teen years hit with afternoon and evening practices, rehearsals, and other meetings, it became even more challenging to make sure everyone was lending a hand to keep our home under control.
Yet, having the entire family involved in the upkeep of a clean home is important! Allyson Reynolds in her post: “Making Family Work…Work” had this to say about the reason to have everyone in the home contribute:
“It may seem like a lot of work to get your family to work, but once your children know how to do housework after months and years of practice, not only will they become an invaluable help to you, but their confidence will grow in their ability to do “grown up” work as well as their ability to make a valuable contribution to the family. Plus they’ll never be that roommate or spouse that causes issues by not doing his or her share.”
Although it can be challenging to develop a system to involve everyone in the housework, the rewards will be great, family ties will strengthen and important lessons will be learned. So we can all use more ideas in this area!
We’d love to hear from you! Please share your answers below in the comments.
QUESTION #1: WHAT HOUSEWORK ARE YOUR CHILDREN RESPONSIBLE FOR?
QUESTION #2: HOW DO YOU KEEP THEM MOTIVATED?
For more suggestions on developing family housework strategies visit:
Housework as a Relationship-Building Activity (podcast episode)