Why I make my kids do chores…and so should you!
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Today we will be talking about chores! Everyone’s favorite thing! Noooot!! While growing up I really didn’t have a “chore” schedule. My amazing mother would do most of the chores. She would ask me every once in a while to clean my room, do the dishes, or help with cleaning the bathroom. When I would ignore her request, eventually my mom would end up doing it herself. Including cleaning my room! This has led to her still leading that life at home now! My wonderful mom is a people pleaser, all the way down to her kids. If we didn’t want to do something, we didn’t have to. Some might call my brother and I spoiled, my husband definitely does, and maybe we were. I had an awesome childhood. But I will say that once I met my husband, my understanding of being “domestic” grew tremendously.
I don’t make my kids do many things, but some basic things. You start small. When my oldest son was about 4 years old, after I had my daughter I started having him clean up the playroom. He would also throw away trash, put dishes in the sink etc. This did not happen without me prompting him, and sometimes I would need to help him with picking up. I was patient and told him to pick up each toy. Tell him where to go and which bucket to put the toys in. Sometimes it is not easy to stay patient and I may have lost my temper more than a few times…but eventually, he understood and now my amazing oldest son takes the lead on chores. He is now 8 years old and the most mature 8 year old boy I have probably EVER met. I know I am a bit biased, but he is freakin amazing!
Isn’t it every mom’s dream to have the kids picking up after themselves? Or, not whining when you ask them to do something like pick up their rooms? I can’t tell you the amount of stress relief I have from him being able to simply put his own clothes away!
Simple chores my kids do on a weekly basis:
What types of chores my kids do…
- Clean their rooms. *This includes putting dirty laundry in baskets, vacuum, and put all toys away.* My oldest will randomly clean his room before bedtime without asking! Score! You’re welcome to any future girlfriends of his 😉
- Pick up dog poop.
- Clean the playroom. Similar to cleaning the rooms, they will pick up all toys, any trash, and vacuum.
- Wipe down surfaces with Clorox wipes. This is something that the kids actually love to do! They love to wipe down the door handles, light switches, and even the door frames! You all know how dirty those can get with little kid fingers everywhere!
- Toilets!…Hallelujah! I HATE doing toilets! The kids basically just wipe them down, but that makes it just that much easier for me to clean!
- Sweep. This is more recent. My oldest has been starting to sweep every once in a while.
These are the chores that the kids do most often. I cannot take credit for this though! My husband is totally the one who decided to make the kids start doing chores. As I said earlier, I was not raised to really be held accountable for the chores I was asked to do. From what he has told me, he was brought up very differently! He did a lot of chores growing up, cooked etc.
Why all kids need to do chores!
Now, onto WHY we make them do these chores! Well most obviously, the help is awesome. I still work a full time job and take the kids to and from all activities by myself since my husband works 50+ hours per week. So any help is always appreciated. My kids have learned over the last couple years, that once chores are done, mommy and daddy are much happier people too! And we have more time to spend with each other. We can do movie nights, we can go out to lunch on a half day, we can go to the park or even for a bike ride. And all with NO STRESS! It is easy to say…oh the chores can wait, leave the mess, etc. I agree in a sense, but at the end of the day, when the sink is full of dishes and the laundry isn’t done, this makes for a very stressful next day. We are teaching our kids that first you work, then you play, or get rewarded! When they do their chores without complaint, or quickly and efficiently, they get rewarded. We try to do special things for them and explain that the main reason is because they did so well on their chores. I’m no expert, but to me, we are teaching our kids a good work ethic.
We are teaching them that if they work hard they should expect awesome things! We are also teaching them pride!
I can’t tell you how many times I have come home from work on a day that my husband has been home with the kids and they have been doing chores, how excited the kids are to show me what they have accomplished throughout the day! They did something OTHER than staring at a tablet all day! They did something that they see mommy usually do and they did it for themselves. Like it or not, your kids are most often a mirror image of you, or trying to be. So how exciting for them when they can do what they see you do every week on their own?! All three kids will welcome me home with huge hugs and exclaim “MOMMY! Look what I did!” As they proudly show me their clean bedroom. And how do you think I respond to this? With pure excitement! Not only because they are excited, but because they are so proud to show me what they have done, that they want to show it off, that I don’t have to do it, that it is one less thing on my mile long to-do list! This is why you should be making your kids do some basic chores. It may be a struggle at first but the benefits far outweigh the negatives! Think of the time you will be saving not picking up constantly after your kids! You will be a much happier parent, and much happier spouse!
Let me know if you have any questions on how to implement this in your family! I would be happy to help!