Here’s an idea from a couple of our customers; we love it!
I’ve always said, if you can turn something dry or mundane into something creative and fun, do it! We’ve looked for ways to do this as we’ve raised our kids. For instance, folding laundry for 16 people can be quite monotonous ( I speak from plenty of experience!). To make the chore more bearable, Kelley, Kasey and I would fold together while we watched an educational video. Sure, it took a little bit longer to get the job done, so we couldn’t do it every time, but sometimes we’d multi-task and stimulate our brains as we got the job done.
Early on when my kids were little, I taught them how to do chores. With my family growing at a rapid rate ( I had a new baby approximately every 18 months- 2 years), my house was busy and got messy quickly. I realized there was no way I could do it all.
Each year I look at my list of ALL the chores that need to be done in our home and decide what chore is best for which child and what I need to do myself for the following year.
I take into consideration each child’s maturity and aptitude. My goal is for each child to eventually know how to do all the chores, but sometimes they just aren’t ready for certain ones.
After deciding who will do what in your home, then take the time to train them thoroughly how to do the desired chore. Try to keep your instructions simple. Some children need more training than others. I realized this when one of my daughters was assigned to dusting. As I looked around after she said she was done, I would find LOTS of areas not dusted. At first I thought she was just trying to get by without being thorough, but I came to realize she just didn’t see what needed to be done.
So the following week, I gave her the handwriting assignment (she LOVED writing) of going through each room and writing down every item that needed to be dusted. I would point out areas she had forgotten. Then each Tuesday (which was dusting day) she would take her list and check off the items in each room as she dusted. I had come to realize that some kids just need more instruction than others.
Consider having your child watch as you do the chore and explain how what you expect them to do. Once you are sure your child knows how to do each chore, occasionally do it with them just to keep them company and have some special talking time with them. Make it a fun time and you’re also giving them a reminder of how quickly the job can be done. This is especially good for those children who get easily distracted or who drag their feet and take too long doing a job. They’ll appreciate you giving them a helping hand.
Praise motivates kids. They need LOTS more praise than they do correction. Often you will need to call them back to do a job thoroughly, but if you make a habit of praising them when they do right, they won’t resent it when you call them back in the right spirit. Let your kids know they CAN please you. Let them know, tell them they are a part of the family, and you need them and appreciate their efforts in being a part of the family team. Don’t be impossible to please. Realize they are young and in the process of learning. Be sure you don’t expect more of your children than you expect of yourself.
Learn to be the Mom today that you want your kids to remember fondly when they are older. They need to know that you care more about them than you do the chore. We need our kids to learn thoroughness, but it’s NEVER more important than their spirit. If we are constantly picky we will soon wound their spirit, and they’ll make up their minds that they can never please mom, so why bother trying? Having the job done to perfection is never worth damaging your relationship. Remember, our goal is not so much getting the chores done as it is teaching our children to experience the satisfaction of having done a job well, and thereby being well prepared to be an effective adult.