So the other day we were at the pool, which we are actually at every day with Megan being on the swim team, but my sister and I were talking about all the laundry we had to do for a family of 5. I had said something about the couch being loaded with folded clothes since I didn’t have a chance to put them away yet to which my sister said, “you are not putting away Megan’s clothes for her still, are you?” Um “yes, but she doesn’t know how to fold her clothes and they will get all wrinkled”. My sister, of course, had a response for that – she either wear wrinkled clothes or learn how to fold. She’s right, there is a time when you have to step back – allow them to fail so they learn how to succeed.
The second she said that I realized our children should be doing chores at this point. Sometimes what’s so obvious to other people is not always that obvious to you! I also think, for me at least, it’s sometimes easier to just do it myself. But then I spend my day picking up after the kids and doing a lot of things that they can be helping with so I can spend my time more effectively with my business. I end up being up really late every night because I’m trying to do everything, and in the process not getting a whole lot done. Plus, I don’t want my children to be the kids who move out on their own eventually and don’t know how to do anything because I’ve always done everything for them.
So yesterday, I sat down and created chore charts. One for Megan who is 8 going on 9 and the twins who are 4, but will be 5 in the next several months. They were actually very excited to do their “chores” yesterday. I am sure that will be short lived. Megan said a couple things during this process made me really glad I started this. First she asked what do we get for doing this. I said nothing, these are things you need to do to help out around the house if and when you go above and beyond what is on the list, then you can earn some extra money. But you should expect to be rewarded for just picking up after yourself and helping with daily things. Then when they were picking up their toys from the day Megan said she didn’t play with some particular items. My response was that they were all playing so they all clean up – I pick up things all day long and 95% of it aren’t things that I took out. Then I said just helping each other out makes it a much nicer family environment.
If anyone would like to use these chore charts, please feel free to use them! I am making them available in an editable format…since I’m sure there are things that need to be changed to tie in with your family needs!