I have had a few conversations with friends recently about their children and whether they should be doing more chores and enquiring whether my kids do chores. I think helping the family unit is one of those areas of parenting were we may feel others may have it more sussed than ourselves. I often wonder, do other parents have to repeat themselves 12 times to get a plate taken from the table to the dishwasher, holler down the stairs like a mad woman to get them to pick their underwear off their bedroom floor and walk it to the laundry basket or threaten total screen time bans if they don’t lay the table after 3 times of asking? I have this notion that other households have children that get up in the morning and without reminding frequently they just follow a chore list effortlessly. After a few recent chats with various parents, I get the impression that this is not the case and a lot of us are all in the same boat as me. We all seem to have similar questions; what chores are age appropriate, how do you get them to do them without constant reminders, do you use chore charts / reward charts, do you pay them pocket money and if so how much. So I’m taking one for the parenting team and I’m going to do some chore research for our household sanity and for others. I will endeavour to try and find a chore system that will work for our family and report back on my findings. First off I wanted to include all the positives to choosing to incorporate family chores into a home.
Well for me the positives are far greater than the negatives. Aside from the life skills it is teaching children, I feel that us parents deserve more down time and time to be able to play rather than constantly following them around the house picking up after them.
Now comes the trickier part. Once you have decided that you want to commit to your kids doing chores, it’s then trying to find out how to implement a solid chore structure in your house without hollering. My kids for the record do have chores already especially the older two. For the younger ones it’s expected that they put their dirty laundry away, help with the composting, clear their plates, pick up toys and that is about it. This really could do with a few more interesting chores added in that they will take to. Especially our soon to be 6 year old who thinks we are all here to look after him. The older two do bigger chores, Finlay for example now cuts the grass for pocket money and they’re both expected to help out at mealtimes and keep their room organised. We really do have to keep at them for remembering basic things such as unpacking their lunch boxes and putting their shoes on the rack etc. So I really feel it is useful having a more structured system in place where they know it is down to them everyday and they gain an understanding of what extras the house needs to pull together. Then we also need to factor in, do they do these chores for simply being part of the family unit, or do we give them incentives in return? This is where you will tell stories to your children that you know of children that do 10 chores a day for simply being part of the family and they will tell you their friends get £10 a week or 10 hours of screen time for 5 chores a day! It’s down to finding what works for you and your family. Discussing it over with each other, they can often surprise you by being mature about these things. Take into consideration your family ethos, traditions and budget when deciding whether there should be a certain reward at the end of the week, month or whether you prefer to surprise them with a day out every so often instead.
I have searched Pinterest for chore ideas. I have discovered age appropriate chore charts, reward chart ideas for chores, holiday chore charts ,screen time chore charts and other very fancy chore charts. I will share some of these ideas I discovered over on my Pinterest board at the end of this post. I will be drafting my own system to start in the holidays and one that I will adapt for when we travel on holidays as well. Then I will adapt it again, slightly if need be for term time in September. I will report back if I have found the miraculous answer in having a chore system where my children float around helping us like civilised miniature humans. No seriously I’m a realist, I know that this will never be the case in our house but if we can achieve a little less hollering from me and a little less grumpiness from Teamstein Daddy then I will feel like a revamp to a new chore system will have worked. So in a few months time I will share with you how we get on and include any photographic evidence of our new busy, happy household minions with you, wish us luck! Please do share with me whether you feel kids should be doing chores or not and your reasons why. Also let me know what works or hasn’t worked for you and what chores your children do.