From Chaos to Calm: Day Twenty-Nine
Children and Chores
Scripture Memory: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12
This is perhaps one of the hardest lessons a mother will have to learn: teaching your children to be respectful and helpful all at the same time is rarely easy!
If your children are still small, include them in your daily chores now so that they will learn early on that it is very important to be a good helper. Praise your children when they do help or offer willingly to help without being asked.
No matter how old your child is, he should be required to complete a number of chores daily to help keep the household running smoothly. Children today are given far too many privileges and much too much free time.
Make time today or over the next few days to make a family chore chart and assign every member or every child chores. You may want to have rotating chores or you may want to simply change the chores out/ add to them as your child ages.
Do not despair if your child immediately cries foul and seems bent on not doing as you have asked. For a child who is not used to doing chores, there will be an adjustment period. However, it is very important that you do not waiver in your determination to make them follow through.
For a child who rebels, you will need to have in place consequences for their disobedience. Do not yell. Do not beg. Do not bribe your children to obedience. The root of all disobedience is a rebellious heart. It is a heart issue! So, determine the punishment for not doing chores and make them clear ahead of time to your child so that he knows what to expect.
Part of training your children is working along side of them. If you have assigned your twelve year old son the bathrooms, do not just say, “Go clean the bathroom.” Go with him. Show him step by step how to do it the first time. The second time, go with him and tell him what to do step by step and correct him if he is not doing it right. Continue to check his work every time until you are certain it will be done to your standards (not his) and that you can reasonably expect that he will do his chores in a timely fashion and to the standard you have set.
If your children are required to put away their clothes, don’t just send them up the stairs to put away their clothing. Explain how you want it done. Do not forget to check that they did it correctly! You will end up with clean clothes back in the hamper if you aren’t diligent! Or the clothes, once neatly folded, will end up crammed into drawers and wrinkled.
Even the youngest child can help put away his toys, help wash the windows, or scrub the floors. My children used to fight over who got to mop the floor. I would hand them each a sponge and they would have so much fun. Now that they are older they don’t enjoy it so much, but it was nice while it lasted!
Make It Fun!
You can make a chore chart on the computer. You can write it out by hand or you can even make a super cool poster with neat stickers and lots of colors. The important thing is that you put the chart in a central location of the house – the kitchen or family rooms are good choices. You may also want to make individualized charts for each child to place in their bedrooms, in the bathrooms, or in their school binders.
Training your children today will reap rewards tomorrow! Ask God to show you how best to instruct your children to be hard workers with cheerful attitudes.
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Here are a couple of printables for your Household Notebook:
After offering The Daily Tasks printable yesterday, I decided I should have offered a blank one as well! So here are they are again, plus a list of age appropriate chores for your children. Plus you can find lots more free printables here.
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