We all want to do the best for our kids, but giving them everything and spoiling them isn't going to pay off in the long run. I believe in hard work and pitching in. You may think your kids are too busy to help out around the house, but there are chores your kids can do that will make them better people.
Let's look into the future. With any luck, my girls will get an education, a job and move on to become financially independent. They will get a first apartment. I will stop by to visit, I will take them to dinner, I will listen to tales of workplace injustice and boyfriend drama, but I won't do laundry and I won't clean their rooms.
My girls are 9 & 11 and they have been pitching in for years. I see it as a pathway to independence. With each new birthday, they are expected to take on more and more responsibility.
Maybe this is the year you decide the kiddos are going to start taking on chores. To get you started, I put together this list of chores your kids can do on their own. This is the list we use and my girls are tweens. We'll be adding more heavy-duty cleaning in the next few years. As the girls ask for more independence, we want them to have earned it by contributing to the family.
10 Chores Your Kids Can Do
3. Sort laundry//fold laundry//put laundry away
4. Make beds
5. Sort the recycling
6. Take out the trash
7. Keep desk clean and keep school papers organized
8. Set the table/clear the table
9. Put away groceries
10. Empty the dishwasher
As I said, this is a starter list. It can be tweaked for kids that are younger or older. There are three areas of focus: laundry, kitchen help, and room tidying (IMO laundry is a great place to solicit help, because kids generate a lot of dirty clothes!)
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Nothing drives me crazier than having someone WATCHING me clean. If there is time to watch there is time to HELP. After they sweep, vacuum and declutter, I come in with my Clorox tools--I'll do the windows and the surfaces.
Working with my 11 year old, she will sort and file her school work and then I wipe with Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes. These are bleach free dry dust wipes that are perfect for the city. Her desk is right by a window and the city grit gets in. The interlocking weave of these wipes traps and locks debris instead of pushing it around.
(Disclaimer: Per EPA regulations, children under the age of 18 should not use cleaning products.)
It's especially important for my younger daughter who suffers from allergies. Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes grab and hold onto dust and allergens to leave her desk clean and ready for homework. For mom, it's a breeze, the wipes work as a duster, rag and broom. I'm glad my girls see me being an efficient cleaning machine. I'm setting a good example.
The next step is to teach them how to clean. For now, we don't have them interact with many cleaning products, but I want them to know how to clean a toilet and how to treat a laundry stain. I'm educating them for the next step in their home economics training. I want the girls to know a clean space is a happy space, but you don't have to give up your whole life to get there.
What about you? Do you have your kids pitch in? What chores do your kids take on?
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