The Importance of home chores
June 19th, 2017 by kidskonnections

Summer vacation is here! For most families it means that that after-school activities are on hold and that children have more leisure time. Even with many going to day camp and other activities the pace just seems slower and less stressful than during the school year. It also is a great opportunity to begin delegating those home chores that it was just easier to do yourself than add to an already over-taxed after-school schedule.

Doing it in a way that seems natural and fun is, of course, the best route to take. I’m a big advocate for colorful charts that make the job assignments clear cut and are easy to check without mom’s involvement once its initiated. Crafty moms can make their own, or use a white board that can be changed each week. Add erasable markers, and draw stars and other decorations to the board. We less crafty moms can find great choices at a teacher’s store, Staples or on-line. They are not that expensive and also have the advantage of listing chores that you may not have thought of.

List do-able chores (depending on the age of the children) on the top of the chart. Examples are:
vacuuming, dusting, waste-paper basket emptying, taking kitchen garbage to the main garbage can, loading the dish washer or hand washing dishes, cleaning off counters, de-cluttering specific rooms, etc. You should tailor make the list to the specific chores in your home.

Next list your child or children’s names on the left hand side of the chart. Place a mark or magnetized marker under the chore, next to each child’s name. These should be changed weekly.

I have found that offering an incentive to the children for completing their chores each week is pretty effective. Positive reinforcement really works!

Experience tells us that giving children responsibilities at home from the time they are young makes for more responsible and better life-prepared children. Its just important to be sure that you are consistent with follow-through and supervision, you really do give the incentives at the end of the week, and that the jobs given to your children are age appropriate. I have found that making the initiative as much fun as possible and presenting it in an enthusiastic way in the beginning helps to have the children “buy-in” to the plan.

Starting the responsibility sharing now, when the household is less frenetic, makes it easier to follow when the school year begins. Happy delegating! Have a great summer.

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