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Teaching Children Responsibility

 

Its hard enough for us as adults to keep our stuff together. So figuring out a way to get the kids involved in the household chores can just about make your head explode. Getting them involved means: teaching them how to do the task, helping them with it, reminding them to do it, coming up with consequences if they don’t do it… I know many parents who have started with good intentions, later to give up because it caused MORE stress for them.

Is there a way to get your children involved, teach them responsibility, and truly lighten the load for yourself? I think so!

I have utilized a chore chart in the past, which got us off to a great start.  The kids LOVED it and it got them into the habit of taking more responsibility. However, I was unable to keep up with it every week. I’m including a picture in case you are interested in something like this. I purchased it at K-Mart, but you can find these just about anywhere!

 

Something like this works well, especially with younger ones. The “rewards” every week we offered were quality time as a family. Whether it be a dance party with glow sticks in the living room, trip to the park, or wrestle-mania. What we want our children to understand about responsibility at home is this: When everyone in the family helps, the work is completed faster and we can spend more time enjoying life and each other.

 

What works for us right now is something a little different.  Its very simple and easy for me to keep up with. Outside of the kids’ responsibility to keep their rooms straight and clean up after themselves (toys, dirty clothes, etc), I assign them each one post-dinner responsibility per week. They keep the same chore all week long. Its something that will take 10 minutes or less. I noticed that there was less whining when they kept the chore for an entire week as opposed to switching every day. And I remembered this is how its been in their school classrooms (teachers are some of the most amazing organizers around!). One responsibility for a whole week, and then they switch.

 

I repurposed the window from an antique door to use as our weekly dinner menu & responsibility list. (Its another story, but posting the menu for the whole family to see is helping tremendously as well).

 

This method is going great and it is actually HELPFUL for my husband and I, as kitchen cleanup in the evenings takes a very long time. But the 5 of us work together and get it done! And most of the time that means more snuggly reading time right before bed.

 

If you already have a system that’s working, that’s super! Please share in the comments what you do! There are so many different ways to get kids involved. I wrote this with those parents in mind who do not yet have a system in place and need something that is simple and effective.

Let me know how it goes and don’t forget that good music goes a long way, especially when you’re cleaning up the kitchen :)

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

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