Today I am going to dive into chores at our house.
First, in our house we have chores and we have jobs. Chores are the things that we do everyday and jobs are things that get done once a week. (I will go into jobs tomorrow) Our children do NOT get paid for doing chores. Chores are things that we do to help each other out because we love and care for one another. We have two sets of chores - daily chores and dinner chores. Both sets must get done everyday or they don't get to do anything else until the chores are done. The way our day works is as soon as we are done eating breakfast the kids get started on their chores. I have chores lists posted on the back of our laundry room door. The older 3 rotate through the lists throughout the week. To make it fair we switch chores everyday so no one complains about always having the "easy" or "hard" chores.
Why do chores?
I know that there are families who don't make their kids do chores. Well, we are not one of those families. Now, let's make something very clear about why we do chores. We do not make our kids do chores because we are lazy and don't feel like cleaning. Our kids aren't doing chores because we have too many kids and the older ones have to clean up after the little ones. I clean durring the day too! We have our kids do chores to teach them responsiblity! We feel that kids need to know how to be responsible and how to take care of themselves. When they grow up and move out we do not want our kids not to know how to do their own laundry! Sadly, there are a lot of kids that when they move out do not know how to work a washing machine! In my opinion there are too many spoiled kids who think that the world revolves around them. I feel like these kids are being set up to fail when thrown out into the real world. They are going to be in for a huge shock when they realize that clean clothes don't just magically appear all folded nicely on their beds.
I actually know someone whose daughter was in her teens who saw her mom cleaning the toilet one day and said, "You clean the toilets?" To which her mom responded, "Yes, how else do you think they get clean?" The daughter says, "I just thought they didn't ever get dirty!" This mom always cleaned the house when her kids were at school and the kid just thought the house never got dirty. She would have been in for a huge shock if she moved out and saw that her house didn't just stay clean.
Kids need responsibilty!
They need to know that in life we work for things. Some people work out in the world at a job to make money to pay bills and some work at home to keep the house running smoothly. Things in this world are not just given and handed out freely like some parents make it seem to their kids. OK- I'm done ranting.......
Some questions that I get often are- What kinds of chores do you make you kids do? How old are your kids when you start making them do chores?
Well, all of my kids (besides Blake) understand and comprehend when we tell them to do something. Therefore, they are able to understand how to do chores. Obviously, I choose chores that are age apporpriate for the 2 little ones. Carson doesn't have much of an attention spand, but he does help pick up toys. We have a clean up song that we sing with him.
"Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share."
When we start singing this he will start picking up whatever we say needs to be picked up :) No, he doesn't always clean up everything, but he does do some and that is what matters!
Vanessa, is in charge of putting away the silverware when it comes out of the dishwasher. She also dusts and picks up toys. She will sometimes help her older sisters with their chores as well, depending on her mood. Remember, with little ones they don't have a very long attention span. Don't expect them to spend 30 min cleaning because it won't happen.
The older 3 rotate chores everyday. The daily chores consist of, laundry, sweeping, vacuuming, wiping down bathroom sinks, feeding animals, filling our drink fridge, loading and unloading dishwasher and helping the littler ones with their bedrooms.
We also have dinner chores, set table, clear table, wipe table, dishwasher, wipe sink, wipe counters/stove and floor. Dinner chores are done as soon as everyone is excused from the table and need to be completed before anyone can play, just like the daily chores.
It may sound like a lot, but really it isn't. Mariela started her chores today around 8:45 and she was done with all of her daily chores plus her jobs before 9:30. When things are done religiously everyday it becomes a habit and it doesn't take long. Plus, it is done everyday, so things don't have a chance to get really dirty :)
It is my opionion that every kid should have to do chores! If your kids aren't already doing something then start with something small and work up to more. Will they like it? Probably not. My kids will never tell you that they love doing their chores everyday! Seriously, you will never hear them say that! BUT you will hear them say that they like having a clean and orderly house. You will also hear them say they are glad they know how to do things on their own.
As an adult they will thank you and you will be proud that your child is responsible and takes care of their house :) (and hopefully teached their children to do the same)
Here are our chore lists. I made them out of scrapbooking paper. I used my label maker to make the labels and then I went to Stapes to get it laminated. (Again, if you do this with a label maker tell them to use the BIG laminator. Otherwise your white labels will be black.....you have been warned!) I used construction paper and sticker letters for their names and had them laminated. The back of the names have the velco on the back so I can switch the names on my charts around durring the week :) Easy peasy!