Throughout the month of February, we’re offering suggestions on how your kids can help out around the house. I don’t know about your children, but my child can make a huge mess in no time. I used to find myself walking around picking up after him….and fussing a lot. I decided that I’d had enough of feeling like the maid. So I began trying things to encourage him to help but I was inconsistent and nothing really stuck. So I got one of these:
It’s a chores board that is posted on the refrigerator. We came up with a list of age appropriate chores – some that he’s just required to do because he lives here and some that offer an incentive (i.e. money). I thought I’d share it with you just in case you are trying to figure out how to get your kids to help out more around the house.
It’s definitely a work in progress, but so far I’ve learned a few things:
• As a part of the carrying his load with chores, we’ve set up three piggy banks – spend, save, and give. He uses his spend money to purchase toys and things he wants. So now when we go to the store and he wants something, I ask if he’s willing to spend his own money on it. Plus he now donates his give money to church or other places that help those in need.
• If he doesn’t do his non-paying chores, then he doesn’t earn any money for the paying chores. I quickly figured out he is motivated by the ability to get stuff.
• If he doesn’t do his chores, I purposely point out that I am spending less time with him because he failed to do his job. Quality time with mommy is also a big motivator.
We’re tweaking this as we go, and we’re not nearly as good about it when school is in session. But I hope that this will teach him that helping out – whether chores around the house or others in need – can result in joy. I also hope it teaches him, currently at his 6 year old level, about responsibility. That things don’t just happen – we have to pitch in and do our part to make them happen. We’ll see. Like I said, it’s a work in progress.