This article ‘Putting an end to the never-ending battle of kids and chores’ Comes from Becki Madsen, the mother of six kids and the owner, operator and creator of I Heart Chore Charts at www.iheartchorecharts.blogspot.com.
Anyone who has kids has been there. We tell our children to clean their room, bathroom and some rooms in the home and 3 minutes later they say they are done! We are a little shocked at their speediness and go see for ourselves what their version of ‘I’m done’ means. We enter the room and it looks as if closets, furniture and beds will burst from the piles shoved underneath them!
What do we do?
First, take a deep breath and turn it into a teaching moment.
Make their weakness become their strength. Kids do not know what is required of them unless they are taught the right steps. Sit them down and explain what cleaning system you will be using, when you expect the chores to be done and how often you would like them done.
Clearly define what is needed for each job to be completed correctly.
I created chore charts for each room of our home, which can be used by anyone for their own home. This takes out any guesswork for your child as to what you expect from them. The detailed chore charts walk them through each step to have a ‘truly’ clean home. For example, with their bedroom, the first step is to make and put pillows on their bed and make sure there are no wrinkles on comforter. Next step is to pick up all items on the floor and put them away correctly, third step is to dust all shelves, bedframes, dressers and night stands followed by the final step of vacuuming. This detailed way of presenting chores is clear, concise and will save you from arguing with your kids about chores!
(Becki’s chore charts can be found here: www.iheartchorecharts.blogspot.com)
Remember to follow closely the first few times.
This system will begin to work the first time but you may need to check back often to make sure they understand each step.
Reward your child once chores are done.
We all like rewards, especially children. You can have a point system where they earn points with each job and at the end of the week they can redeem them.
And most importantly….
Kids thrive with routines and being consistent with your house cleaning and what you expect is important!
Every family has a different way of completing chores. This system has worked for thousands and taught kids responsibility and the satisfaction of a job well done! Good luck and happy cleaning!
Some other fun cleaning recommendations are: Set up the twister mat placing small jobs on many of the dots. Have the kids stand back and throw a beanbag and they run to do the job they landed on, have your child work for the purpose of surprising a family member, Edit a board game with jobs on different spaces and shake the dice or spin your way to cleaning. This works better with smaller jobs.
For a quick clean up of the house, put an ice cube in a pan on low and see if the kids can finish their chores before it melts, blindfold your kids and see if they can still clean, have children draw a job out of the hat and have them do that job for the next 20 minutes, pretend to be the health inspector and reward the children if the job is done to your satisfaction, red light/green light cleaning works well too, hide a small object in a messy room. Have the kids clean until they find it.
To see the detailed chore charts Becki made for her family, visit her blog at www.iheartchorecharts.blogspot.com.