Whether you have always been doing and handing out set chores, only having a slight routine with regards to chores, or if you are mostly the one doing all the chores around the house with little or no help from the rest of the family, chores never disappear from our daily lives. Some of the things we do aren’t even regarded as chores because they have become such a way of life that we just do them without giving it much thought.
A way to get the whole family involved and to give each person his or her set chores to do, is to create a chore chart to lay out everyone’s responsibilities. This will not only relieve pressure on the person/people who usually do everything around the house, but it will also relieve tension that builds up in the house and, believe it or not, it will help with family bonding time.
If everyone in the family pitches in to do their part, everyone will get along better and sometimes even feel like they have accomplished something big even if it was something as small as doing the dishes.
Truth be told, few people enjoy doing chores, and even if we tell ourselves that we do, there are certain chores that we despise and try to avoid for as long as possible. So, dividing the work amongst everyone in the household will also help to get those not so fun chores done and out of the way, because everyone is lending a hand.
The benefits of a chore chart
As already mentioned, it relieves tension and helps the person/people that the responsibility usually falls on. It also helps to get us moving, which increases our blood flow as it can be a form of exercise, and releases endorphins which create that feel-good state of mind.
When children are involved, it teaches them responsibility and gets them into the habit of doing what they can to help. This will slowly but surely also prepare them for their own adult lives one day, as they will learn that everything you want and need in life takes hard work and dedication, but that it can be done.
Having a home that is frequently tidied up and cleaned will create an environment where the entire family can relax and enjoy each other’s company. Families will be less likely to get irritated with one another if everything isn’t a constant mess or if one person (usually mom) doesn’t have to do everything themselves. It will help to make a house a home.
Spending time together doing chores can be great bonding time if you make it fun, especially with children. Having a broom race in between cleaning or seeing who can tidy up the most toys the quickest could turn it into what feels like a game to them, and will distract them from the fact that they are actually doing a chore.
How to incorporate a chore chart and make it work
Even as adults, we don’t like doing anything for free, so why should we expect our children to? We all want a reward for the hard work that we do, and although words of recognition can make us feel important and appreciated, we still want some form of tangible reward too, like getting paid.
Don’t think about chores as something that will cost you money, think of it as a way of teaching children two lessons at the same time. It will teach them responsibility not only with chores, but also financial responsibility if they earn their own pocket money once a week or month. They will learn that not everything in life comes easy and if you spend it all in one place, you will have nothing left. They will also know that mom and dad are not an endless source of financial resources and that you must work for what you earn.
Take the opportunity to teach them how to manage their money so that they can grow up to be individuals who make smart financial decisions. Also teach them to save by making them to put a portion of their pocket money into a piggy bank or a savings account of their own.
Making your own chore chart:
Making your own chore chart can ensure that nothing gets left out and a realistic division of chores for each day of the week. Start of by making a list of all the chores that need to be done, and then add the names of the family members who will be responsible for those chores. The list can include the following:
- Doing the dishes every day (everybody can take turns during the week)
- Drying and packing away the dishes
- Sweeping and mopping the floors
- Vacuuming the carpets
- Doing the laundry
- Watering the plants
- Giving the pets clean water and feeding them daily
- Each member of the household making their beds and tidying up their rooms
- Gardening (Mowing the lawn, removing weeds, raking leaves
The list should be tailor made for your family and their needs.
Take a big sheet of cardboard and divide it up into all the days of the week. Take the list and divide it up evenly according to person and day of the week so that every person has more or less the same amount to do for the day. For younger children, allocate a colour to their names so they know which activities are theirs and make use of pictures to illustrate what they need to do for the day. Decorate it as a family and make it look attractive, so that it’s not forgotten.
You could have a separate sheet where reward stickers are added for chores completed, and once they have a certain amount of stickers, they get their reward, whether it is their pocket money or a bonus treat.
Put it up where everyone in the family will see it often and set a time aside each day for when all chores will be done. It may take a while to get into routine, but soon you will be reaping the benefits thereof!