I doubt there is a child on earth that loves to do chores.. I should know, I was once one. I have not so fond memories of washing dishes, tidying the living room, and helping my mom around the house growing up. As much as I hated those chores, they didn’t kill me. In fact, they disciplined me and I grew to be an adult that not only keeps a tidy home, but who also takes care of her belongings and responsibilities. I guess that was the lesson in it all? Thanks Mom..
For the past month I have been reading “Smart Money, Smart Kids,” by Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruz. In their book they suggest plenty of ways to raise financially responsible children, but one subject that really spoke to me was on chores for children. In short, chores are things that our children do as contributing members of the family/household not because they’re in it for a paycheck (a.k.a. allowance). When we teach our kids to clean up after themselves they’re learning self sufficiency. When we teach our kids to clean up after others they’re learning to be mindful of their own mess, grateful for the selfless acts of their parents, and be part of a team.
The book does address allowance and “chores vs. jobs” so I definitely recommend picking it up, it’s a great read!
Me? I teach my kids to do chores because I can’t do it all. Correction: I refuse to do it all. There’s no Mom that can cook 5-7 healthy dinners a week, go to the gym, keep a home clean regularly, drive kids to school/practice/rehearsal, and work a 9-5 job 365 days a year. Unless you’re Beyonce.. and even she doesn’t do that without a team of nannies, assistants, and personal chefs.
I teach my kids to do chores because I don’t want them going to college clueless about how to do basic things in life; cook, clean, laundry, and car maintenance. I teach them all to do the same kind of chores because I want my sons to grow to be husbands that contribute more than a paycheck to their household and my daughters to not be intimidated by a power tool (to their future spouses, you’re welcome).
So what exactly do my kids do around the house? Below is a chart that many of my Instagram followers have asked for. From toddler to teenager, your children are fully capable of helping you around the house. Now, before you send me angry emails threatening to report me for running a sweatshop, know that these are not their daily.. or even weekly.. chores. I maintain the cleanliness of the common areas pretty well, they just have to clean up after themselves (their room, a dish, their bathroom to name a few). I take into account their school work/projects/big tests when I assign them anything extra.. but they do pitch in quite a bit. The younger siblings even assist the older kids as a way of “learning the ropes,” and once a month they do some deep cleaning with me.
Do they do these perfectly? Of course not.
Do I sometimes refold the laundry or reorganize things to my liking? Of course I do.
It’s never about perfection, it’s about putting in effort and creating good habits.
Hope this chart helps you brainstorm ideas for ways your kids can help around your house!