Babies and bags are w hat I do.
I am a Army wife, a stay at home mother of six, who runs a home business of sewing purses.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

How to have kids help with Chores.

I recently asked for help on what to teach and now I thought I would tell you what I taught.

How do I get my kids to help with chores?

I believe that chore charts are a great way for kids to learn to help. They can get very elaborate but I like mine very simple. My last one was two circles, one about 9 in diameter and one about 4 in diameter. I drew a "X" on both and on the little one I added a name in each of the sections and on the larger on I wrote two chores around the edge in each quarter. I then poked a hole in the middle of both and added a brad. I turn the circle each week to tell the kids which jobs are theirs.

Another is just a simple list that they need to check things off as they do them. This is how my mother did chores on Saturdays. The list would look something like this.

Assigned room
Kitchen Chore

We had to put our initials next to each chore that we finished. Let me explain each chore on the list. First is bedroom, Every child should be responsible to keep their own room clean. This includes putting laundry in the hamper, keeping toys where they belong, making their bed and vacuuming along with any other clutter.

I assign each of my kids a room in the house that they need to keep clean. Right now they are the Kitchen, living/dinning rooms, Office, Playroom. They need to keep them picked up all week but on Saturday mornings they need to be cleaned, dusted, vacuumed.

Next on the list is Laundry, I do the wash in our house but I do not put it away for my kids. They need to make sure their laundry is put away.

Also Extra, this can be a chore of my choosing. I choose things like sweep the patio or organize the bikes in the garage.

Next is kitchen chore, this is a job that helps keep the kitchen running smooth. In my house these are empty dishwasher, set table, clear table, empty trash. These need to be done daily, sometimes more, for example on weekends we eat more at home so we have more dishes, the table needs to be set and cleared for each meal.

Some people put all the jobs in a jar and have the kids pick out which ones they want to do. First come first pick. I have never used this but I think that it definitely would work.

I also think that having a hubby that helps with chores is a good example for kids too. My sister has a great way to have her husband help. Some times husband want to help they just don't know what chores would be most beneficial for them to do. My sister a a list on the fridge for her husband. It has things on it like vacuum the living room, or clean the front bathroom, but also has things Like Kiss your wife.

Before a child can clean a room they need to know what is expected to be done in that room. Here is an example that my sister has of this.

Cleaning the Bathroom

Quick Clean- Time estimate 4-5 minutes per bathroom
Put dirty clothes in the dirty clothes basket
Wipe down the sink and toilet with Clorox wipes
Spot clean the floor with Clorox wipes
Empty trash if needed
Straighten towels

Deep Clean- Time estimate 10-15 minutes per bathroom
Put dirty clothes and towels in the dirty clothes basket
Spray mirror with Windex and wipe with paper towels until streak free
Take everything off the sink
Spray with Clorox cleaner or bathroom cleaner
Wash sink with cleaning cloth
Rinse all soap off
Dry with a different cloth
Put Soap, etc. back on the sink
Spray all levels with Clorox cleaner or bathroom cleaner
Wash each level with cleaning cloth- starting with the top
Rinse all soap off
Dry with a different cloth
Spray bowl cleaner, let set, wash bowl with toilet brush
Spray with Clorox cleaner or bathroom cleaner- including handles and faucet
Wash with cleaning cloth
Rinse all soap off
Dry handles and front ledge with a different cloth (the rest can drip dry)
Empty Trash, Put in new trash sack
Put new towels on the racks
Move mats to another room.
Mix Pinesol with water (about 4 lidfuls to a dishpan)
Wash down floor with cleaning cloth
Try not to leave a lot of water on the floor.
Let dry

Having a list like this for each room is useful when teaching kids how to clean a room, when Hubby wants to help, or as a reminder to kids of what they need to do.
Also having the time estimate is important info. If it only took 5 minutes to do the deep clean, it probably was not done correctly.

Other things that I talked about. Age appropriate jobs. My 3 year old can help empty the dishwasher. I have a friend that has all of her dishes that are used for setting the table in the lower cupboards so that her kids can reach them. The older the child the more they can do. They can also help teach the younger kids by having them help a younger sibling with a chore.

Which brings me to my latest things that I have been doing at my house. Having kids work in pairs. Who wants to work alone? I don't and I have found that my kids work better when they work in pairs. But if one is doing more of the work, or one is not working on the chore they get to finish by themselves.

The Last thing is rewards. Should I pay my kids for jobs done around the house? I don't. I believe that they need to contribute to the workings of our home. But there are extra jobs that can be done after the assigned ones that can earn money. An example of this would be Ironed shirts is worth 50 cents. This is not to say that I don't think rewards are a good thing. Family activities are a great reward, "when the Saturday chores are done we can go swimming or have a picnic" are great rewards and motivators. I remember Saturdays as a kid when my Dad would hand out heresy Kisses to those that were working. Another sister has a marble jar that she adds a marble to it when she sees kids working with out reminders or when kids helping others with their jobs. When the jar is full they have a Ice cream party. I think that the best reward is just to say Thanks and give your kid a hug.

I hope this helps, or gives you things to try. Remember it is a work in progress, teaching kids always is.


Carrie and Karl said...

Sounds good. i'm glad I could help.

Eston, Brenden and Janye said...

I really enjoyed your class. Thanks so much for the hard work. I learned so much.

JUST ME, THE MOM said...

I saw your wonderful ideas featured on 11th Heaven - you are a wealth of grand ideas, thank you so much for sharing!

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