Parenting at times, seems to come with a lot of advice from others. And while not all of it can be appreciated, good advice from parents who are a little farther down the family path and who have gained some solid wisdom, is worth a lot.
Some of the best parenting advice I have ever received came from a mom, with kids just a few years older than my toddlers, about how they handled chores at their house. It went something like this:
Each person who lives in the house cleans one room or area of the home for the week and these room chores rotate weekly. And each person who eats in the house does one meal chore for the day and these meal chores rotate daily.
We have spent many years testing out this system and love it for these reasons:
- It is simple and easy
- If chores get off track (due to having a new baby, two weeks of the flu, moving, the washer flooding the house, vacation, or any other normal events in family life) it is easy to pick back up and start again.
- It is fair because eventually everyone gets a chance to do each job. Just having an answer for the comment "it is not fair" is worth implementing the system.
- If friends from out of town call unexpectedly and would like to stop by in 10 minutes everyone knows exactly what area they need to pick up and how to do it.
- It helps everyone who lives in the house appreciate what it takes to clean, maintain, and care for their home. --i.e. kids who cleaned the living areas last week are a little more diligent in picking up their belonging there this week.
- Cleaning a room in your house is a great way to spend one on one time with a child. You might be surprised what they will tell you while mopping the floor and trying to distract themselves from the task at hand.
- The big payoff comes after you have spent the one on one time teaching them the skills (disclaimer: this may take years) when the house only takes an hour to clean because everyone can take care of their little part. Go Team!