Having a clean house is a glorious feeling and having kids is a complete joy, but many times those two feelings are mutually exclusive. Most parents accept the fact that their home will never quite be clean after they decide to have kids. Let us put those myths to rest. Chore charts can be the start to get kids helping clean instead of helping mess the house.
Chore charts can come in all shapes and sizes, but they also range in effectiveness. Here are 4 ways to make chore charts effective for children of all ages.
1. Make them with bright colors, pictures, or an interactive diagram. Kids respond to color and creativity. One obstacle to teaching kids to clean is that, they do not view cleaning as a fun activity. Approach cleaning and your personal chore chart as a game or something that will bring happiness to their life. This exciting new activity will keep them interested for a moment as you continue to encourage them.
2. Give age specific chores to each child with a chart. Set realistic expectations for each child. If the chore is ‘do the dishes’ for a 10 year old that might be loading and unloading the dishwasher, but for a 3 year old it might look like unloading spoons and forks or even their own plastic cups. Give them an opportunity to succeed. It may be slower than if you were to just do it yourself, but allowing them to succeed now, will encourage them to do a little bit more as they grow.
3. Create a clear goal/ending point. When they are done, let them know they are done. For some parents giving a reward such as a treat or a small allowance will be perfect. For others the simple satisfaction of finishing a task is all it will take. No matter what you decide is best for your chore chart and children, allow the children to see clearly that they completed what was expected of them.
4. Consistency is key. Keeping the kids accountable everyday is vital for success. Setting a time throughout the day to do their chores may help them continue to respond positively. There will be some days when they do it willingly, but a lot of other days when they drag their feet. Its okay! Helping them develop the habit that every single day they need to do a certain chore or a certain number of chores will encourage them.
Bonus example: There is a 4 year old little girl who loves fashion and puppies. We will call here A. Because A likes clothes and accessories we will make an interactive chore chart that relates to her interests. Make a little girl silhouette out of poster board and hang it somewhere that A can easily see and interact with. Now we can make clothes, shoes, a purse, etc that will have chores listed on each item. Some chores for her include; keeping the water bowl full for her puppy, helping make her bed in the morning, and picking up her toys from the living room. Each day when A completes a task she will take that item and put it on her poster friend until her poster friend is completely dressed. When all the clothing and accessories are put on the poster friend A gets to choose an activity to do or a treat to eat as a reward.