Chores – Should children do them?

choresHalfway through last year I decided it was time for my children to start contributing towards the general running of our household. Whilst some people may say that children shouldn’t  do chores, I believe that my children are now old enough to contribute a little towards keeping our house in order. I am one of those parents who struggles with the everyday untidyness that children, and life in general, create. So with my decision made, I sat down to decide which items I thought were suitable for my children.

What Chores To Choose?

The first thing I put on the list was making their bed. In theory I don’t believe that this should be classed as a chore, but really just part of an everyday routine. However my idea was that it may encourage my youngest to start making her bed on a regular basis. My eldest was already very diligent at making her bed each day. Then I also added picking up clothes/shoes, putting away books and updating our daily date board. Each child had to make their own bed, but then the additional chores would be rotated on a weekly basis. I designed a “Weekly Chores” sheet and then individual chore tabs. After laminating the chore page and individual tabs, I then attached them to the page with blue-tak. Get a free copy of my original chore page on our subscribers FREEBIE page.  (Please note: you need to be a subscriber to take advantage of this.  So if you’re not, sign up now from the website home page)

Chores

Click on the image to download our FREEBIE Weekly Chore List

This worked reasonably well for the remainder of the school year. There were certainly times when the children had to be reminded of the list, and weekends weren’t always the best, but in general the trial was successful.

With this new school year we as a family have decided that additional chores will be added to the list. I’ve also changed the Weekly Chore page as my youngest daughter is not yet able to read and couldn’t understand the list without help. So I’ve added small images against each chore to help her. This has worked really well as she now can do her chores without the assistance of adults.  I’ve also changed the page so that specific chores can be allocated to certain days instead of a whole week.

We’ve added sweeping the kitchen floor and setting the kitchen table for dinner to the list. We’ve also added vacuuming the kitchen floor (instead of sweeping) and cleaning the bathroom basin each Wednesday. I’m hoping that by wiping down the bathroom basin my children might reduce the amount of toothpaste they spread around the basin and surrounding areas when cleaning their teeth. I think this may actually be working!!!!!

The completion of these chores each morning is not a laborious task. In total, the kids spend about 10 minutes each morning. The only exception may be the days the kitchen floor is done, but even then it is only about an extra 5 minutes. I didn’t want these tasks to be something that the children loathed doing each day, but rather something that teaches them a little respect for the home they live in and the amount of work that has to be put in to keep a house tidy and running smoothly. It has also meant that my life is just a little less stressful each morning as I’m not thinking of sweeping the floor or tidying up!!

Of course there are plenty of other things that children can complete as chores.  Feeding animals, cleaning toilets, mowing lawns, watering plants, washing dishes, unloading dishwasher, the list goes on and on.

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