Life with kids can get messy. There’s no arguing that fact. Throw a few dogs, cats, toads…and crabs ( oh and don’t forget the husband lol) into the mix and sometimes it can feel like you have a mountain of housework to scale. Whether making cupcakes or working on the coolest new science experiment life can be messy!
You’re not alone though, mama. If those kids can make a mess they can easily help clean it up! Not only does helping with chores teach responsibility, but it also teaches important skills such as self-care, organization, and plenty of others!
There is some discretion out there as to just what chores are appropriate for certain ages. One of the most important things to take into account is your child’s personal abilities. Their strengths and weaknesses can lead you to choose chores that are appropriate for the individual rather than the age group.
There are some skills, however, that should at least be attempted by children at a certain age. Toddlers can help feel a sense of being part of the family more by helping to set the table. School age kids can learn important skills by keeping their personal spaces (bedrooms or personal bathrooms) clean and even helping with the laundry. Teenagers aren’t very far from living on their own. They should be helping with many aspects of home care by this point to help equip them with skills that they will need when mom or dad isn’t there to do things for them.
How do you get them to do the chores without it being a….well, chore? (See what I did there lol) There are so many chore charts and systems out there. This, again, will depend on your child and their personality.
Does your child respond to rewards such as an ice cream or a movie night? There are great apps available that will help you create a token system that they can trade in for prizes.
Younger children, and some older ones, really enjoy the response of getting a physical item for completing a chore. This could be as simple as a sticker or piece of candy. (However, use caution with using food as a reward. This can lead to unhealthy habits later in life.) Collecting stickers on a star chart or in a sticker book (Does anyone use those anymore? You weren’t cool unless you had a sticker book when I was a kid…with the puffy or scratch & sniff stickers of course!)
Older kids can start earning an allowance. This can be based on a per chore cost ( my personal favorite) or a flat fee per month if all items required of them are done. I have found that in a lot of instances, however, there is little responsibility or tracking with this method. A good way to avoid this is to use the token system, and then tokens are turned in for money.
The absolute BEST chore chart for kids that we have found is based on doing chores for something that is truly motivating for our ages. (10 and 12) It also helps to tackle a huge issue that we were having in our house…screen time! Not only was there an argument of who got the computer or Xbox or TV (because of course once one got on one thing the other wanted to use it), but there was just an overall problem with too much screen time.
It’s so hard with this generation. It seems like everything revolves around the screen, and I’m happy to let them engage with friends online or on their phones. However, where do we draw the line and say enough is enough? Mine were nearly spending all day glued to some type of media. I had finally had enough of the arguing and screen zombies.
Using this system we have cards with each chore that needs doing. On the back of each card is the amount of screen time the chore is worth. Through doing chores they earn screen time. But wait…there’s more! We have a signup sheet each day in which they can sign up for the amount of time they have earned. (A dry erase board works great for this!) Certain times, such as lunch or family time, are blocked out and not available for anyone to sign up for. We do something like rock, paper, scissors or a coin flip to decide who gets to sign up first.
Using this system we not only get everything done with no “She got an easier chore than I did” because everyone chooses what they want to do on any particular day. We have also cut down arguments over using computers, gaming consoles, etc because everyone has their own time on them. Finally, we have cut down on screen time as there is only a certain amount of time each day that they can earn, and if they don’t earn it they don’t use it. (Yup, we have had days when chores weren’t done and no arguments when there was no screen time because they followed the system) It’s actually a little crazy how quickly and easily this worked!
Of course, it’s important to give them the right tools for the job. A good way of doing this is to set up a shower caddy with cleaning supplies. By doing this, they can grab and go without all of the “I can’t find it so I can’t do it.” Having high quality, easy to use items for them to use makes chores less of a chore for anyone.
One of my favorite “easy to use” items is the Clorox All-Purpose cleaner which is specially designed to clean and disinfect a variety of stains on a variety of surfaces making it an easy go-to for a variety of tasks! The awesome Smart Tube Technology®, lets them spray every last drop too!
Pair this cleaner with Viva Big Roll towels ( with 40% more compared to Viva regular roll) and the job gets done quickly and without hassles. The soft but strong towels hold up to just about any cleaning job you can throw at them.
Visit your local Walmart and pick up your own Clean Squad of Viva paper towels and Clorox cleaning spray!Starting 6/21 save $.50 off any Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner + Spray varieties and beginning July 5th, save $1 off any Viva Paper Towels 6 pack or larger.
Have you tried the pick-up service at Walmart yet? You don’t even have to get out of your car! You can bundle Viva Towels + Clorox Clean-Up through the pick-up service and save even more!
( coupon offer not valid with bundle offer)
If you have used the pickup service comment below and let me know how it went for you! I just love these services that have been showing up in certain stores. Walmart has to be the most convenient one I have seen though, they have everything!!
I would love to hear from you if you try the chore system out too! Did it work for you? Did you make any changes? Good luck mama!!
Don’t forget the free printable Chores Your Child Should Be Doing by Age and be sure to follow Ghastly Girl: Geek Lifestyle on Facebook or Twitter for more free printables, offers, and parenting tips or join our facebook group for moms like you to share your cleaning tips, parenting stories, and more!
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