Getting the kid’s to do the chores is almost an impossible thing for most parents. But if you have small and short chores, that can be done in no time, and rewards when they are done, then doing chores may not be so bad after all. Most kids can start doing a few chores at the age of 5 or 6.
Make a list of chores to be done, and then divide them up between your kid’s according to their age. Most kids even at 6 years old can make their beds. It does not need to be perfect, but it needs to be be made. Make one side at a time, then go to the other side, and finish up. This should be done either after they wake up, or right after breakfast, before heading off to school. This will leave you with one less thing to do later. Chores should be divided up by job…not by room.
Even if you are a stay-at-home-mom, you should not do everything in your busy day….leave a few things for the kids to do after they get home from school. All you need to do, is to pick-up toys, and other things off the floors, and dust the high places that you know none of the kid’s can reach, even on their tippy-toes. Leave the rest of the dusting to the kids.
Depending on how your house is, if it gets dirty fast, or not, or if your have pets inside of the house, depends if you need to dust and sweep everyday, or can get by doing it only every other day or so. From the list you made, make a chart for each child, each chore, for 6 days of the week. You may want to leave a weekend day free for the kids to do nothing on that day. Change chores around from each day, so the same child is not doing the same chore every time it needs to be done, in the course of a week.
Examples: Let us say Tommy and Suzie is 12 years old, and 8 years old. They just got home from school, now is the time to give their little brains a break from all that thinking and learning they’ve done all day. On the chart, Monday, Tommy does all the dusting in the house that he can reach to do. Suzie does all the sweeping of the carpets. If there is some laundry to do, but not enough for a full load, ask the kids to go their rooms, and bring their dirty clothes to you. The kid’s are done! Now they can go out to play, do homework, until suppertime. Each of these jobs should only take a few minutes, to about 20 minutes at most. The next time these chores need done, switch them around…. Tommy does the sweeping, and let Suzie dust what she can reach to.
If you have a dog or cat inside, it only takes a minute to make sure that the animal has food and water in the bowls. This can be done just in passing. Kids can do this also.
Laundry….if the kids want clothes to wear, make them bring the dirty clothes to you, not you to fetch the dirty clothes. You wash and fold clothes, give each child a basket for the dirty clothes, and fill it with the clean for them to put away. Either on a Saturday or Sunday, have the kids clean their rooms, clothes hung, and put in drawers. Things picked up off the floors. If this is done every weekend, even the messiest child shouldn’t be all that messy.
Rewards: In this tight economy, money may not be an option for you and the kids. What is their favorite meal? How about an extra hour of TV? Let them pick the movie or game on family night. Let them earn the day out with friends to the ball game, or whatever