07 November 2012

Chores for (My) Children

Last July I talked with a friend who has children older than mine and has her children do chores.  I had begun to contemplate how this would work with my children and had danced around the idea because of a new baby coming in September.  I decided to take the leap and start the beginning of August.  Simply.  And if it didn't work, then I'd nix it until a later date.

The girls had been showing great interest in wanting to help, and I just needed to get a bit more organised and structured in how this would work.  I wasn't sure if it would feel as though it were actually more work on my part having little ones under my feet helping, or if it would in fact lighten my load.  I figured eventually I may feel the benefits of a lighter load, but we'd at least begin chores.

So, Possum (then 4yr 5mo) was given the task of unpacking the dishwasher (after Mum had unpacked the glass and sharp knives).  Twinkle (then 3 yr) was given the task of spraying the dining chairs and wiping them down with a (clean) tea towel.  Then the next day they'd swap. Sweetness (then 20 mo) was to help load the washing machine daily, and when it finished, load the dryer. 

Immediately, I saw these tasks bring each of the girls a sense of pride, a feeling of great joy, and I was VERY surprised at how much it did lighten my load, and how enjoyable it was that we, as a family, were all helping be a family, taking care of each other.  Not to mention, I was now teaching my girls "how to" for their homemaker days yet to come!

We kept with the simple routine aforementioned until after Handsome was born in September and life, once again, seemed to settle back down into a "new" normal.  Then I expanded our household chores (adding in setting the table and vacuuming) and created a chore chart.

It's just a simple Word document that I put into a photo frame, and hung it on our wall in a prominent place that the girls can see, and touch.  Possum (now 4yr 8mo) can read everyone's names and can declare who is doing which chore (another proud feeling of independence for a 4 year old).

It has worked out marvellously thus far.  As the children grow older we will add to their list, but for now, this is plentiful.  And it works.  It just was the right time to implement.  It flows with our day.

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