But, but but…
But, nothing! Get those freeloaders moving!
Amid the whirlwind of life and growing kids, housework persists and crap needs done.
Parents must remember that their foremost job is to raise fully functioning, independent humans. No parent should want to support their 20 something year old, able bodied child.
Parents need to teach kids how to take care of themselves; this begins when they are young with kid’s chores. You are not doing the people you claim to love any good by coddling them.
You are making your kids weak losers.
Yes I just said that. I feel so strongly about the issue of enabler caregivers, that I will need to devote another blog post to the topic.
Onto the subject of kids’ chores:
I had been at a loss for how to get my five daughters, ages 4 to 12, to help out more around the house.
I made excuses for why they did not have to help:
- too young
- too busy
- too whiny
- too tired
- too damn cute (I have a serious weakness for their faces.)
A friend told me about the chore system that her family of six uses.*
She wanted chores done, was tired of repeatedly asking, and sick of doing it all herself at midnight. Years ago she saw a show that suggested different ways to get your kids to do chores. She tried different methods and this one stuck.
I’ve decided to give her chore calender a try for our family.
Here’s the basics of how the chore chart works:
- Find a blank calender. I printed mine from www.calenderlabs.com.
- Type in the calender and print OR print it then write in by hand.
- Figure out what you want done. Here: Clothes, Dishes, Floors
- Pair people up: Big one with little one. You are “buddies” for the whole week (Sunday to Saturday)
- Assign chore to buddy pair.
- Chore changes daily. Move chore up.
- Buddies change weekly. Move little buddy up.
There may be a period of trial and error. Don’t throw the whole cart out just because one wheel is crappy. Find the right wheel to make the cart work best.
My friend has six members in her family including both parents. They have both daughters and sons. Including their Dad in the chores works for their family. He is being a great role model for all his kids, especially the boys.
I chose not to include Husband in our chart. He sometimes get home at 10 at night or later. He is a self employed person. I’m not going to ask him to sweep the floor, fold clothes or wash dishes after working 12-15 hours a day. Plus, I also have a weakness for his face too.
The calender gives guidance to get crap done.
Housework is inevitable. No one is willing to go hungry or naked so there will always be dishes and laundry. And we all know how gross floors can get.
My friend has been using this system for a couple of years. It took some time to get into the groove. And, she said that the Mom is going to have to be the enforcer — at least in the beginning.
The Enforcer — Maybe I will get a t-shirt made with that on it.
My family is just starting on our chore chart quest. I asked her these questions:
Question: What time of day should we do the chores?
Answer: About 7 at night, she turns TV off and tells her kids to do the chores before bed.
Question: What about busy days? For example, the days where we have ballgames in evening.
Answer: Do chores before you go to evening activities. Everyone is going to be too tired when you get home later.
Question: What about the days you skip?
Answer: My friend is what I call hardcore (in a good way). She gave me this example: Say her family is busy and they skip chores on a Saturday. The next day her family does Saturday’s chores in the morning and Sunday’s chores at night.
Good for her! (“Slave Driver,” said under my breath, but wishing I could be as diligent as her.)
Question: What if a parent wants to be lazy?
Answer: Said parent should bribe their little buddy for the week to do the work for them. Seriously, my friend said that this is what her husband does. She doesn’t care as long as the work is done and his name is on the chart. If if works for them, I say good deal.
Tell me: Does my description make sense? Any questions? What system do you use in your house to get the chores done?