Assigning chores they’ll actually want to do can be hard, but it’s possible. In our house, everyone helps out, but that means that figuring out how to organize your child’s chores is a top priority. Because let’s be honest, it can’t be a free for all or nothing would get done!
For us figuring out how to organize our children’s chores came down to three main things: age-appropriateness, time available, and preference.
It’s not always easy knowing what chores are appropriate for each age. Can your 8-year-old do laundry? Maybe or maybe not, but he can definitely put clothes away. Maybe your older kids are each in charge of a room or bathroom?
In our house, each child is responsible for their own rooms, for keeping their area clean, for putting away their clothes, and for cleaning up after themselves (cleaning up their dishes, putting away their shoes, etc…).
However, they also have extra “chores” and the kids get a say in which of these chores they choose.
We used these Swap Chores for Screentime Cards to break down the tasks that each child does. THEY choose the chore based on the amount of time that they want to earn for screentime. Each chore earns then minutes of screentime (it is written on the cards… see in the image below)
For other things that need to be done, we fill out the blank cards that we’ve laminated with the chores for that week & they can choose which ones they want to do (example: washing & sweeping out the car).
Since other things are also important in our house, chores just naturally have to fall in line behind the priorities of the day. While it would be great to have the house spotless and everything put away all the time, it’s just not feasible time-wise. So, we break down and organize chores by the time available.
Everyone in our house has different amounts of time available on different days, so there is always some sort of flow with the chores & daily responsibilities. We try to limit the number of chores to a minimum on days when school and sports practice collide because there’s just not enough hours in the day.
School Day responsibilities might include: make the bed, clean your room & unload the dishwasher. On those busy days, we may add in something else, as simple as “feed the dog” or “take out the trash cans.” These are things that are expected to be done without any sort of reward.
That being said, we always make sure everyone has at least one or two things to do so that they know that contributing to the family is equally as important. It’s all about balancing the time we have available with the tasks that need to be completed.
It sounds silly to say that we let the kids choose their chores by preference and by the amount of screentime that they want, but it works. I don’t want our kids online too much and they are helping out around the house. It solves both issues.
Some of our kids love washing dishes, while others would much rather be outside helping in the yard. While we try to make sure that everyone gets to try every chore at some point, we don’t want the work to be seen as punishment. So, if it makes it easier to give the kids the choice, it works for both of us.
For example, the outdoorsy child might choose the task of watering the garden and the indoorsy child might pick the chore of sweeping the kitchen floor. Whatever works in your house is what works. 🙂
Chores Teach Responsibility
In our family, chores and daily responsibilities are a way that we teach our children to be helpful, responsible & understand the importance of teamwork in a family. It’s important to organize the tasks that we assign so that the kids have a well-rounded understanding of what family life is all about. I also want them to understand that work before play is a great rule of thumb.
Remember… it’s really all about what works best for you and your family.
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