I often make my kids finish my chores.
Now, now, don't get all upset. I'm doing it FOR THEM!
(Okay, mostly for them. :) But contributing to the family really does leave more time for us to spend together enjoying each others' company.)
My kids have their regular chores, like doing the dishes each night or sweeping the kitchen floor. They are also in charge of picking up their own dinner plates after meals, cleaning their rooms, and picking up toys.
In addition, they earn electronics time by doing extra chores, like cleaning the bathroom, if they want to. Since e-time is pretty limited around here, they want to!
Recently, I was creating a little outdoor garden and had the kids help. I did the planting, but they brought each plant to me. I purchased some little white picket fences and let them install them by gently pressing them into the ground. Finally, they had to water the plants.
They treated this chore much more enthusiastically from most of the chores that they do on a regular basis. I assumed, at first, that it was because it was a garden and more exciting.
But I noticed something else.
It wasn't just the garden.
It was that they saw mom doing chores. It was that they did the finishing touches, like the fences and the watering, so they felt proud and accomplished.
Because I did the hard part, they did not get stressed out. And because they helped me, it was easier to get it done and I did not get stressed out.
I've moved this practice into other parts of my housekeeping.
Last week, I sorted and cleaned out under the bathroom sink. I threw away a lot of stuff, but not in the garbage. Instead, I tossed it onto the floor. Once I was done, I had my six year old put the trash in the garbage can and had my nine year old reload the area under the cabinet neatly.
Neither assigned chore took more than 2 minutes.
But the cabinet looked amazing, I didn't get worn out and leave the chore unfinished, and the kids even commented on how nice it was once the areas was decluttered and organized.
They are now working on little areas in their own rooms, decluttering based on what they learned from mom.
Being a parent is about teaching. Having your kids finish the little details of any chore teaches them teamwork, organization, and a sense of justice since everyone contributed.
Other ideas for chores that kids can finish:
*storing spices and condiments back into the cabinets while you finish cooking/serving dinner
*putting away the socks in sock drawers after you finish folding and pairing them
*tossing the envelopes and junk mail after you process incoming paperwork
*bringing towels used for cleaning into the hamper
*sorting the silverware once you've unloaded the rest of the dishwasher
*bringing reusable grocery bags back to the trunk of your car after you unload the groceries
(Note: My nine year old loves that chore the most because he gets to play with the "unlock" function on my car key.)
I won't pretend that this technique saves time at first. Even for simple chores, you still have to teach kids how to accomplish them. But the technique will pay off when your kids realize the value of finishing whatever you start.
If you enjoy what you read at Giftie Etcetera, please share on social media. Click here to join the Giftie Etcetera Facebook group.
Partied with: Baby Brain Monday, Get Your Shine On, This Is How We Roll, Think and Make Thursday, Thoughtful Thursday, Idea Box, Funtastic Friday, Pintastic Pinterest, Momma Told Me, Country Fair, Home Matters, Foodie Friends Friday, Frugal Friday, Feature Fridays, Learning Kid, Friday Five Features, Friday Felicities, Small Victories Sunday, Motivation Monday, Happiness is Homemade, Mommy Monday, Project Inspired, Anything Goes, Dream Create Inspire, Link It To Me, Laugh and Learn, Tell It To Me Tuesday, Wined Down Wednesday, A Little R & R, Super Saturday Afternoon