I have been reading a lot of past conversation on this forum about chores. I liked how Tristan explained at one time the why and how of having each of her children do a room or area for a 6mo to a year before moving them to another area. However, I was wondering how I could implement this with my little ones. I have a 7, 5, and 2 year old. At this point, I thought I could have my 7 and 5 year old each work in a bathroom every day. However, this would mean that I would be doing the rest of the chores myself, which I enjoy their help with (dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, etc.) Then once I move them on to another room to focus on daily I would have to pick up all the bathroom cleaning so they could focus on their new area. However, if we dust one day, vacuum one day, clean bathrooms one day, there is a lot more of me having to manage and give instructions for compared to assigning them to one area that they are responsible for each day. How do you all schedule your little one’s chores so that they can thoroughly learn how to do one thing well? I hope my thoughts make sense!TristanParticipant
Tina, you have a great question. I’ll be honest, when I just had a couple kids and all were younger I had to do a whole lot of chores myself or with helpers. I was the mom and at that stage in our family life it was my responsibility to do most of the work. If I were to go back to that time knowing what I know now about how chores for 6 mos or a year works this is what I would do:
1. Assign the kids one room that is just theirs for 6 mos.
2. Assign myself most of the other rooms. It’s just the stage of life I’m in.
3a. Choose a few things that the kids can do without a lot of training and make that a family work time. Meaning, during family work time we are all working together in the same room but each of us has a specific role. They may be picking up things and dusting, while I am the one vacuuming.
3b. The other option here to consider is just always inviting them to work with mom/help mom in the rooms where you enjoy their help. So if I were in the kitchen I would always ask if anyone wants to wipe cabinets while I’m cleaning the room. Or in the living room I would always ask if someone wants a spray bottle to wipe down walls while I’m vacuuming. Or if anyone wants to do basketball with the laundry (put a hoop over the laundry basket and have them seek out dirty laundry and toss it in). I may get no helpers and I have to be okay with that if I’m just offering it as an option. But if there is no media available and I make working with mom fun then often kids are going to help.
Now, if I only had 3 children and may family was complete then as the years go by I would begin giving each child 2 rooms to be in charge of around age 12 or 13, but I would also be very formal about assigning myself 2 or more rooms too, and we would just rotate every 6 mos to a year. I just happen to have enough kids that I really have become manager more than worker. AND I still pitch in to help different kids every day. I want to work alongside them, it’s a great time to build relationships.
I’m sure others will have some great ideas for you too!TinaParticipant
Tristan, Thanks so much for your input and wisdom! Your points were a great help for me as I try to come up with a better plan for chores at our house. I like the idea of having them each do a room, but maybe I just don’t like the hassle of pulling out my heavy vacuum every day if that room needs it. So before I had read a couple of your comments, I had thought that one day we could do all of the vacuuming in the house, then another day all of the dusting, etc. However, it seems that you have experienced the benefits of having them work in one area every day and for an extended period of time. This makes sense to me. What are your thoughts about the other idea of doing all dusting, vacuuming, etc. each on a different day of the week versus what you have implemented? Thanks for helping me work through this in my mind. Your experience is so very valuable to me as I begin looking at training my little ones in chores.TristanParticipant
I think it really depends on you. What we do works better for us because the floors need done daily with so many people trekking in and out, dropping crumbs, etc and babies always crawling on the floors.
Also, we invested in a couple light vacuums for the younger kids to use. Look up stick vacuum on Amazon and you’ll see what I mean. We do have one regular heavy vacuum (Shark Professional) for the carpets, but the majority of our house is old wood floors so kids use the light stick vacuums or sweep with a broom.
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