It’s summer, so the kids are out of school, and that means the house inevitably becomes a mess, right?
Nope. Not in my house.
My children are responsible for folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, cleaning their rooms and the playroom. They also have to set the table for dinner and, afterwards, they have to vacuum under it and wipe it down. They have to feed the dog. And if they take out an activity, they must put it up before getting out another one.
They are 6 and 8. And they have been doing these chores for years. Here they are cleaning the table when they were 5 and 4.
You can do this, too. Take the time this summer to give your children responsibilities. You are not doing them any favors — you are certainly not doing their future bosses any favors — by cleaning up after them and not expecting them to do anything. Plus, it just leaves you angry and tired.
“I can’t get my kids to do chores,” you say. “They will complain too much, and it’s just not worth it.”
I have a simple solution for that: Consequences. If my children don’t do their jobs, they lose something. And it’s something big. No pool for the day. No movies on the weekend. No playdate at friend’s house.
Oh, and I stick to it. Yep, I am the mom who has left the restaurant because their behavior was not restaurant worthy. I only had to do it once. So now they know when I state a consequence, I am not playing. And they do their work.
One more thing: My children not only have to do their jobs, but also they have to do them well. Laundry not turned right-side out? Do it again. Crumbs still left under the table? Get the vacuum back out, mister. Or I add to their workload.
The beauty of this is my house is not a mess. And I am not doing everything. And when I leave my children with a babysitter, I tell the sitter her job is simply to manage. My children are to do all the work. Check out the list I left them the other night.
I told them if there were not check marks by each job, they would not go the pool the next day. They love the pool.
Look at all those beautiful check marks.
You can do this. Your children are counting on you to be the strong one in the relationship.