The kids had a day off from school a couple of months ago so I was home with them. My daughter had a friend over and they were making a fort in the living room and my son was busy playing. I took this time to clean the house and do laundry. I was about two and a half hours into cleaning the upstairs when the kids started yelling at me from the main floor (10 feet from the kitchen) for snacks and drinks.
I yelled for about 30 seconds at them about getting off their butts, helping out in the house and not making a mess. I immediately felt regret at yelling as I glanced at my daughter’s friend’s big eyes just staring at me. Mom fail…in my calmer mind, this schedule was born.
As I reflected on this whole scenario and how the blow up came to be, I see that I was doing too much and the kids weren’t doing enough to take care of themselves. My whole goal in life is to make them into responsible adults which means that they will have to clean up after themselves. It’s so easy to do it for them because it’s less of a fight and less time consuming if I do it. But it won’t get any easier as they get closer to being teenagers.
The kids were on board with doing more around the house so we trialed these chores for a while and made some adjustments to the schedule. At the start, I had to teach them how to do the specific chores like what is expected when they clean their room. I worked with them throughout the first few times of cleaning. I then wrote it down on our whiteboard so they could read the steps and then check it off.
I like that there are chores for the kids and the parents on the same sheet. This will hold me accountable to get it done daily too. I learned that I like to do a little cleaning everyday than to spend 3 hours on the weekend cleaning the house (and then preventing a blow up!). I also like that it shows that everyone in the family works together to keep the house clean and running.
Kids of all ages can help out with these chores listed on the Chore List. I would suggest starting them early so that it becomes a part of their routine. Here is a list of chores that kids can reasonably do. Yes, it takes patience but they will get it!
Below is a blank printable template that you can use to write your own chores for parents and kids. Or put it in a plastic cover and use a dry erase marker. The other version is the one that I filled out with my kids and have been using successfully for the past couple of months.
I hope this works for you! There seems to be less and less time in a day as the kids get older so this is a good way to buy you some time. Leave a comment to tell me if it works for you and your kids or if there’s other things that work for you.