This post has been a long time coming. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off because every time I settled into a routine, something came along that blew it all up.
So now, finally, I think that I can say that we’ve found something that works for our kids and chores – in this season. For now :D We’ve been doing chores this way consistently for over a year (with a few tweaks here and there) and everyone seems to enjoy it – well, as much as you CAN enjoy chores.
For the sake of those who are curious, and for my own sanity (because you know I’m going to probably have to change everything after I write this, and I want a reminder of WHY it all worked so well!), here’s how our kids do chores!
First off, our kids are The Boy (almost 9), JJ (7) Keekers (almost 5) and Miss E (13 months). Our house is not huge, nor is it tiny, we’re definitely starting to feel a bit of a stretch (what with all the books and such :D), but it’s quite comfortable for our needs.
We have 3 bedrooms upstairs (all carpeted), 3 bathrooms (all tile – who puts carpet in bathrooms anyway?!), 3 main living areas downstairs (tile and hardwood), and a mostly unfinished basement.
In the past we’ve tried a chore chart with really fun, colourful tags that could be changed depending on the day, tickets to be “earned” when chores were completed, etc. It was fun when the kids were younger, but frustrating still as I was spending a lot of time setting it up for 3 kids, and the chores were getting more complicated. Plus, they weren’t very good at remembering to turn their cards over, and I couldn’t recall if they had done them or not.
So we moved on to a simpler system of chore rotation. One week The Boy dusted and JJ did the bathrooms, the next JJ dusted and The Boy did the bathrooms (along with other chores). Except “we” kept “forgetting” what chore had been done the previous week, and we ended up with some not so happy household helpers.
Plus, some weeks I found we were forgetting or bulking all the chores into one day instead and/or just skipping them all together (it was likely the fact that at the time the kids were younger and the training to do the chore took so much time, I sometimes lazed out and just did it myself).
We quit this and decided to try something ground breaking – a chore a day. Every day, every week, the same chore. And it worked!
A Chore A Day
All of these chores are outside of their regular responsibilities (making their beds, putting their clothes away, cleaning up after themselves, etc.):
- Monday: dusting
- Tuesday: bathroom sinks and mirrors (mom does the toilets)
- Wednesday: garbages and recycling (but mostly off because of Awana in the evening)
- Thursday: vacuuming and mopping (each boy takes 2 rooms to vacuum, mom or dad mops)
- Friday: bathroom wipe down
- Saturday (once a month): vacuum upstairs
Each child is assigned a “zone” to attend to, 1 per week, on a 3 week rotation. Front door, kitchen table and play room, to be cleaned up at or before 5:00 PM each day.
They also have a daily kitchen responsibility: set the table, clear and wipe the table, and sweep the floor (this only gets done at lunch and dinner). The boys alternate emptying the dishwasher (we’ve done it as a team before, but decided it was easier to have them take turns).
It’s not perfect, and we don’t always get everything done, nor do we always do them on the days they’re “supposed” to be done, but it’s comfortable and consistent for the most part. We only vacuum the upstairs once a month (gasp!) and for now that’s enough. The basement gets vacuumed whenever we’re having people over :D
I’m sure we’ll be adding more chores as the kids get older and they become more capable. We also finally settled on a way to deal with “paying” them for chores vs. allowance thanks to a friend of ours – but that’s another post for another day.
What chores do you give your children around the house to help out with?