I think most of us want to be the kind of parent that trains our kids to do regular chores around the house. We know that teaching our kids how to help out in the home and clean up after themselves will teach them valuable lessons about responsibility and serving others.
“By making them do chores — taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry — they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life. It’s not just about me and what I need in this moment.” – Julie Lythcott-Haims
Wanting your kids to do chores and actually taking the time to show them how to do chores are two different things. Beyond teaching your kids how to do their chores, you also want to be consistent with requiring your kids to complete their chores, which can be a battle all on its own.
Nick and I have not been super consistent about chores for our kids over the years, but I believe (hope) that we have turned a really positive corner on this. I’ve had several people ask me to share about kid chores through my Instagram DMs, so I thought I’d write this post to give some ideas. We definitely are not experts on anything related to parenting, but what I mostly wanted to share is the idea that getting your kids to participate in daily chores does not have to be complicated.
I think our many attempts at getting consistent with chores have often failed because we (I) tried to over-complicate things with a chore chart and elaborate system that was too much for us to maintain.
Our New & Improved (NOT Complicated) Approach to Kids’ Chores
Going into the new school year, we decided to buckle down and get consistent with chores in our home, but this time we ditched the chore chart idea. Instead, we have a general “chore time” after dinner each night and the boys help out with whatever we ask of them to get the house in order for the next day. This typically involves about 30 minutes of our family working together as a team–clearing the table, doing dishes, picking up toys, packing backpacks and lunches, tidying up the shoes, feeding the cat, etc.
We used to ask the boys to clear their dishes after dinner and Everson has had the responsibility to give the cat food and water for awhile now, but up until recently we would bolt outside after dinner for some family playtime before bed. We are still getting time to “play” after the chores are done and it’s a great, natural motivator for the boys to know we can head outside or to the playroom as soon as we finish cleaning up.
An added bonus is Nick and I no longer come downstairs after getting the boys to bed and have to clean up dishes and pick up a single thing. The house is totally picked up and we can just relax or get other work done for the remainder of the evening.
Kids are pretty quick to adapt to a system if you are consistent, so already a couple weeks in, we have seen the boys come to expect the chore time and almost seem excited to pitch in and help out! If you are having a hard time figuring out a chores “system” for your kids, I would encourage you to not over-complicate it and just designate a time (or several times throughout the day might be better if you’re home most of the day) to pick up and help out. Let me know how it goes!
Need Age-Appropriate Chore Ideas?
If you are looking for age-appropriate chore ideas, I’ve linked some helpful blog posts below:
Last but not least…Thieves is our favorite, kid-friendly, all-purpose cleaner.
I can’t NOT mention Thieves household cleaner when talking about kids doing chores. We are OBSESSED with this all-purpose cleaner that is even more effective than Chlorox.
Thieves cleaner is also 100% safe and non-toxic. It gives me such peace of mind knowing my boys can use this cleaning solution to help clean surfaces in our home and they aren’t getting exposed to harmful chemicals. On top of that, it’s extremely cost-effective. #winwin
Please share this post if you found it helpful! And if you have some kids’ chore tips to add, please leave a comment below. Thank you!