How do you get them to do their chores?

I sometimes brag about my kids on facebook. Isn’t that what it’s for? I keep hearing this question, “How do you get them to do their chores?”

We have trained the kids to do chores since they could walk. 12 month old toddlers can walk over and put a dirty diaper in the trash can or clothes in the laundry. 24 month olds can start learning colors to sort laundry. Three year olds love to empty the dryer. Four year olds can play in the bubbles to hand wash dishes. I got this information from a fantastic article online called “Stages of Responsibilty.” (I cannot find the article I used online anymore, so I’ve reposted it here.)

Some people will say this is harsh, but it has taken years to teach my kids that I am serious. We’ve had better seasons and worse sesons, but over all we have to do our chores before we get to do anything fun. Proverbs speaks a lot about work and hard work being import for the future of our children when they are adults. My husband has a strong work ethic and he feels it is very important that we teach our children how to work.

When the children were preschoolers we each did ONE chore before each meal. We were home together and we did one chore before breakfast, one chore before lunch, and one chore before dinner.  That is 12 chores a day! That helped us keep up with simple dishes, laundry and picking up toys at least!

Now that my baby is 7 years old, all the children have been cross-trained to do all the chores alone or at least with help. The 7 year old still needs help with loading dishwasher but she can empty it alone. If someone needs “help” I am their helper unless someone else volunteers first.

I found we work best when we work independently but simulataneously. So we all do our chores at the end of the school day or before a meal. We each scurrying different directions. However, I don’t try to do my own chores if they need my help. I had to give up control of that and allow myself to be interrupted.

This is getting long, so I will go through the logistical details of our current chore system in the next post. But I hope this has inspired you to try something. Let your children help you. Teach them to work. It is worth it!


One Response

  1. Jean…this is all great! If its alright with you, I’d like to keep a copy of this in my documents list so I can refer back to it…I have to see things on paper and keep it handy to look back on because I have the memory of a a gnat, if they have one at all! Anyway, I was able to get Nicholas to make his bed over the summer, and while he can do a few things, he is very hit and miss. Kailey is in her terrible twos, and I do mean terrible…she used to do things for me all the time, and like you and everyone else, money is tight! Thanks again, dear!

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