Here are my happy helpers!
If you Google a search on the word “chores” you will find over 33,000,000 articles written on this topic. Is that not crazy? I think EVERY mom struggles with this at some point – so if you are struggling – do not feel alone! My mom just reminded me yesterday of my stinky attitude as a teen. Sorry mom!
Why should we require our children to do work? In Genesis, before the fall – God put Adam into the garden to work tending to the garden (Genesis 2:15). Work is not a result of the fall – but something that God created for man to do because we are created in his image and God works.
In Proverbs we are given many verses about not being lazy or slothful such as Proverbs 6:6 about how the ant works hard to gather food and Proverbs 21:25. In I Thessalonians 3:10 Paul says “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” I have never withheld food from my children, nor do I recommend it – but I will say that withholding all desserts and snacks are not a bad consequence for a child who refuses to work. When a child sees his siblings eating their Popsicles you better believe that the silent motivation might just help the child get his rear in gear!
Our final example is Jesus himself. In John 13 Jesus washed the disciples feet and then he said – “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
Jesus called his followers to serve one another and serving begins in the home.
The method I use is called the “chore packet” system. If your children can read – making the packet is simple – just write the chore and a description of what the child should do and slip the cards for that day into the packet. If you have a child who cannot read – either print out pictures from the web – or do what I did – I took photos around the house – of the flowers – to have them water the flowers, of their beds to indicate they need to make their bed, of a broom to indicate they are to sweep – etc.
Each morning RIGHT after breakfast – I choose about 5 chores and slip them into their packet and then hang their packet on them. They are not to take the packet off until they have completed all the cards in their packet. As long as they are wearing their packet, they are not permitted to watch television, video games or play on the computer. I do not have to tell them what to do (or argue with them), I do not have to nag them and I do not have to check off charts – which I have found very challenging to do consistently. I simply look around for what needs done – and slip those cards into the packet for the day. I rotate who gets what chore daily so they both learn to do all of the tasks well. I always include making their bed and cleaning up their toys in their own room.
My children have progressed from working along side of me to being able to do many chores all on their own. This has developed their confidence (I praise and cheer and clap for them!), their sense of belonging, serving and is a testimony to my neighbors who have seen my kids working and doing their chores! Here’s what the packets look like and some photo’s of my kids working:
The blue cards with a star indicate a “bonus” chore. This may be a chore that I forgot to take a picture of or a special chore like cleaning out the garage or sweeping the basement. Bonus chores get a candy reward when they are completed. My children celebrate when they find a bonus chore in their packet!
They love laundry day! This is a “bonus” chore!
Watering the flowers! This saves me nearly 20 minutes a day and they love the outdoors and getting their feet all wet! I praise my son for the green thumb he has – he has kept these flowers along with some tomato plants alive! What an accomplishment!
She is able to sweep the crumbs into piles but I have to sweep it onto the dust pan for her – she has not mastered that skill yet.
Winding the clock!
So for all the moms in the thick of it – I offer just one method in the midst of 33,000,000!!! If my method cannot work for you -please do not be discouraged – go out there on the web and search – I know there has to be one out there for you!!!
Walk with the King!
Need more encouragement?
Pick up a copy of my book:
“Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home.”