As a professional counselor though, I know that children gain much more than just satisfaction from a job well done. They gain independence and confidence (two necessary ingredients for successful launching) when they have the skills even after struggling to take care of themselves and dare I suggest others.
Because of these reasons and so much more, I am committed to teaching my children that contributing to our household is not only a requirement but also something that can be done with a willing heart.
I first introduced this concept to them as toddlers with an I Can Do Chores Kit that we used at the center where they hung pictures on hooks and put them in a slot at the end of each day. (Pinterest is full of these ideas as well as age appropriate chore lists). I will confess with very little ones mine was a half hearted attempt at best but I believe still helped introduce the idea that there is an expectation in this home that you will work. No adult is going to wait on you and clean up after you after entertaining you.
We then progressed to checklists on clipboards. After listening to Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel and reading Cleaning House, we now have an app called Our Home (available for Google and the Iphone) with fun rewards and a daily commission that can be earned.
If you have never introduced this idea and don't have a family structure like family meetings (more on this topic in an upcoming post), you may have some resistance but here is are my words of encouragement. Your perseverance will be felt by your children and will be worth it!
I am determined this summer to increase my consistency in this area and am implementing some new strategies for our entire family.
5 Helpful Hints if You Struggle with Chores
2) Give praise for specific actions. One of my favorites is "I like watching you..." (wash dishes, pick up with a happy heart, help your brother, etc).
3) I learned from A Mother's Rule of Life, that working on cleaning up the area you are in at the moment (especially when it comes to mealtimes) can help you figure out a routine that makes practical sense if your children and home are more spread out. Ideally, we don't leave the kitchen area until it is cleaned. Everytime I break this rule, I regret it. If someone is finished with his or her part, he or she can work in the family area or help one of us still working. Another example of this is I have them take clean clothes up and bring dirty down at the same time twice a week.
5) Start slow and add. If this idea is new or your children are young, I would pick just a very few items to start with and grow them as your children either age or mature. If you are scattered, you may need to add the job of supervising this procedure to the more detailed adult in your home or set an alarm or calendar reminders for yourself.