You don’t care, but this is how chores go down in our house.
Saturday Chores Sign Up
I make a list of all the chores that need to be done (yardwork, bathrooms, cobwebs, floors, etc) and then kids sign up for what they want. They are not allowed to have more than their age. It’s important to establish while they are younger they CAN’T have more than two or three if they are two or three. Brand it as an honor. Every year on their birthday, celebrate getting to choose another chore.
Oldest goes first in choosing, since they have the most to do. If a child doesn’t want to come to the chore choosing meeting, the parent picks for them.
When a chore is finished and checked by a parent, the child signs off. In life, the only reward for chores is having it done, and knowing you did it, and other people acknowledging it a little bit. So we give them that.
I also say that allowance is tied to chores, although it’s not motivating to anyone. I just want to give them allowance so they have practice managing money. And whenever a child begs for a treat or a toy I tell them they have money and they can spend it how they wish. As soon as it’s their own money they are spending… they are very wise with it. The other day the kids wanted McDonalds so I made them pay for their own three dollar happy meal.
Before they eat the treat they earned from keeping their clip up, they tidy up their zone. Heidi has front room, Peter has main floor bedrooms, Austin has the laundry and art room, Erika has Erika’s room, Mom has the kitchen and Dad has outside.
We rotate every day through Package Up, Clear Away, Brush and Spray and Wipe, Sweep, and Backup. Every person puts their own dishes directly in the dishwasher. (Dad empties the dishwasher Every. Single. Morning. If I start the washer at night, he’ll empty it in the morning. Consequently, our dishwasher is always ready to accept clean dishes.) (Usually).
I wash my laundry, my husband’s laundry, and my toddlers’ laundry. Heidi does hers on Wednesday, Peter on Thursday, Austin on Friday. I get soap packets so they can do it all themselves.
I have a reminder go off on my phone on their days, and I look for a good time to remind them. “Just pause real quick and stuff it in.” When the washer is finished, I tell them “Your laundry is clean and is getting stinky.” In Ohio, if you leave wet laundry for more than an hour or so you have to wash it again. When the dryer is done, I set a sixty minute timer. If they finish putting it away in that sixty minutes, they get a small treat.
If they do their laundry on their day, they get a ticket to Family Activity Night. We rotate through who chooses what the activity is. Tonight we watched Youtube videos of someone playing a video game. Someone went to bed early because they didn’t put away their laundry.
Cooking and Setting the Table
During last school year, each child chose what dinner was one day per week and then helped me make it. Setting the table was part of that. When grocery stores emptied because of the stay-at-home order, we ate out of our food storage for a while. Since it was hard to cook, and I needed to ration the tasty food, I took over the cooking job completely. I am looking for a way to reintroduce meal prep.