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Back to Routine
Summer break is officially over and the kids are back to school. While being back on routine is definitely nice, it also can come with challenges. Because children’s school days are so structured, it can be a challenge when the kids come home from school and suddenly just want to zone out and not help around the house. It’s understandable children feel this way. After all, adults do, too, after a long day at work. However, it’s important to perpetuate routine, structure, and accountability in the family, even after school.
So, here are ways you can get the kids to help with the chores.
Before You Implement the List, Remember…
- Establishing a habit and a routine of doing chores regularly begins with a positive step. This means that chores should be introduced in a positive light. If chores are introduced as punishment or in a negative light, children surely will dread doing them. In turn, this makes even your job harder when trying to enforce chores. Rather than threaten the kids with doing chores when they do something wrong, begin teaching how chores are a positive thing every day.
- Allow the kids to come home from school, grab a quick snack, and then encourage finishing their chores as soon as possible. Procrastinating a chore list will be more challenging as the family begins winding down for the evening, thus becoming more tired.
- It’s OK to say “no,” especially to electronics. If TV or phones create challenges for getting chores done, say “no” to them until the chores are done.
- Routines establish wonderful, long-term habits. The more regular the family is with chores, the easier it is overtime. Negotiating begins dwindling, and soon enough, the kids will automatically begin cleaning up after themselves.
- It’s OK to teach a child that they should clean up after themselves without expecting someone else to clean up after them, or without expecting being convinced to clean up after themselves.
- If the kids need an extra pep in their step while doing chores, play their favorite Disney songs and let them sing and dance while they do their chores. Or, let them take turns playing their favorite songs while they clean. Additionally, you can turn chores into a competition where the first one done with the chores gets to watch their favorite show.
- Do not forget to praise your children when they complete their chores successfully. Positive reinforcement will motivate positive behaviors.
Chore List Ideas
- Take out the trash and sort the recycling
- Put toys away and tidy up a playspace
- Tidy up throw pillows and blankets in common areas like the living room and den
- Unload the dishwasher
- Load the dishwasher
- Match clean socks and put them away
- Fold towels and washcloths
- Wipe down counters in the kitchen, bathroom, and the dining room table
- Pick up pine cones
- Pull weeds
- Dust shelves, dressers, and other furniture
- Sweep and mop
- Watch younger siblings
- Make beds
- Tidy up their bedrooms
- Assist in meal prepping, or if they like, to help make dinner
- Make lunches and snacks for the next day’s lunch boxes
- Vacuum the carpet
- Feed pets
If everyone picks two chores from this list daily, the house will be better maintained and you guys will be able to enjoy each other more! Happy cleaning!