Okay I know what you are thinking…I will just clean it myself it takes way too much time and effort to get kids to help, but just give me a few moments of your time and a new idea of how to get it done.
We have implemented a technique in our house, typically it lands on late Saturday mornings, after ballet lessons but sometimes switches to Sunday’s after church and Sunday school, where everything stops for 60 mins and everyone in the house lends a hand. I thought of this one weekend last year when I was angrily cleaning the whole downstairs by myself thinking why am I doing this to myself again. My husband is always willing to help but doesn’t always know what needs to get done and my kids require lists, time frames and supervision so how can I provide this and create a family unit that works together? Light bulb moment! I will use a timer set it for 60 minutes so there is a definitive beginning and end time, we will shut off screens, put down what we are doing and work together to get the chores that need to get done done. I start by making a list of everything that we are going to attempt to get done in that hour on a checklist. I am attaching one you can use in order to try this at your home if you would like to. Weekend Power Hour Checklist
The next step is choosing who is going to “run” the hour that week. For the first couple weeks while we were learning through the process I always supervised them, however I felt like I was taking to much control and it felt like mom yelling as opposed to teamwork. I talked to some of my wonderful mom friends about this and they had the great idea that I should put the control and responsibility into the kids hands and let them take turn running it! Umm can we say GENIUS! This is why I keep these ladies in my world they keep me grounded.
When making the chores list be realistic, think yes I know I am super mom and can get everything needed done in the house in one hour but remember you are working as a team and with children. Example of what a Saturday morning list looks like in my house:
We live in a smaller 3 bedroom house, so keep in mind if you have a larger house you may not be able to hit as many rooms in the hour. Anything that is not completed does get finished by mom and dad in our house but the stipulation on that is that the kids are moving and working hard for the full hour.
We assign the task to the person responsible and the “supervisor” for the day ensures that the task is complete before they can move on. This is also something that you can assist with the first couple weeks but then they do get an eye for it. My daughter can go into her brother’s bedroom and tell him what to pick up as well as I could at this point!
Some ideas of age appropriate chores for your children are in this chart, kids are capable of a great deal more then we sometimes give them credit for! I think giving your children responsibility and something to be proud of really gives them a sense of accomplishment. In our house the weekend is the time where they get to use “screens” (I will explain in another post soon) so pausing, working as a family and earning their time to do their desired activity has really worked out for us. It is something the kids except now and do not think twice to help, rewards are sometimes necessary but not typical anymore. I usually like to think of simple things as rewards: a piece of candy, you can chose anything for dinner, mom or dad will sit down and watch whatever you are watching and hang out with you, or we will stop and play a game with you whether is be Wii or Barbie anything you want. The last part is that I make sure to thank them. That is a huge piece of the puzzle, let them know how grateful you are that they took the time to assist the family and made mom’s life so much easier for the weekend!
I would love to hear how you get your little ones to help out in the house? Any reward ideas for chores? Any obstacles you want ideas overcoming when it comes to kids and housework? Please comment below!