Must Have Pieces of Quality Family Time to Keep Your Family Together Forever

7 Must-Have Pieces of Quality Family Time to Keep Your Family Together Forever!

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not!

 

TRIVIA: On average, how much quality time do American families spend together per day???

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for the answer!)

 

Families in our world today face many challenges- but none so great as the lack of time together. 

  • Moms and dads work,
  • kids are involved in after-school activities or sports or clubs,
  • the house has to be maintained,
  • someone’s got to make dinner,
  • the laundry needs washed,
  • the dishes need cleaned.

There are so many things competing for our attention that it’s easy to get distracted and forget those people who are most important to us- our kids, our spouse, our parents, our siblings, our cousins, our grandparents…

If you fall into that category, don’t fear! You can keep your family together by making whatever time you do have with your family QUALITY time. Even if it’s just an hour each evening after work.

It’s just like a puzzle- if you have all the pieces, everything fits together naturally. BUT- If you’re missing one of the vital elements, you’re not achieving your end goal of having successful quality family time.

Here’s the recipe: four vital attitudes and three vital activities to incorporate into your family time to achieve QUALITY family time. 

two people doing fist bump

Attitude 1: Respect

Now, don’t stress if you’ve got teenagers at home. Sometimes it seems like you’ll never have respect in your family time with teens around.

Remember that the only person you have control over is you. If you set the example of respect, people around you will follow. 

Ideas to show respect at home:

  • Try to see from your children’s perspective. Every child, no matter their age, has real reasons for why they act the way they do. If you can see that, you can respond in a respectful way that meets their needs.
  • Pay close attention when your family members talk to you. That means eye contact! I know, it’s so much easier to listen while you scrub the dishes or throw a load of laundry into the wash. But doing other things shows the child or your spouse that they are #2 in your life. And they’re not! They’re #1 all the way!
  • Value their opinions. 
  • Treat your kids and spouse like you treat your friends. The other day, I fell asleep on the couch after a long day. My poor toddler was potty training and had a bit of a sick tummy. She tried to wake me up, but I told her mommy was sleeping and she needed to let me rest. When I woke up a little bit later, I found out that she had an accident because she needed my help to go potty!! Poor girl!!! I am quick to offer help to my friends, and I NEVER ignore them (even if I were sleeping!) but I didn’t help my child and ignored her legitimate need. It’s ok because I learned from it and I’ll be a little better tomorrow than I was today.

two child hugging in front of field

Attitude 2: Forgiveness

Have you ever felt like it’s easier to hold a grudge at home than in other relationships? I guess you kind of HAVE to forgive people at work because you’ve got to come in to the office and be civil every day or you’ll be fired.

Nobody’s going to fire you from being a parent.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t big consequences for holding grudges in the home.

Ideas to show forgiveness at home:

  • Never being up old offenses. If you’ve truly forgiven, then they’re gone from your mind completely.
  • Don’t keep score. Families aren’t about winning or losing. Tallies of good and bad behaviors are hurtful. We love each other equally no matter what the score board says.
  • Show love quickly after a family member hurts you. The faster things are solved, the better. Make it happen!
  • Always believe in your family, invest in them, show interest in them, sacrifice for them- even when it feels like you’ve given enough. You haven’t. You’ll always be giving and they’ll always be giving back. Take a minute to see all the ways that they are giving back to you! You’ll be amazed!!

person carrying baby while reading book

Attitude 3: Love

We all know we should love our family. And we do!

But sometimes the feeling of love in the home gets lost in the shuffle.

Things have to be done, we’re on a time crunch, it’s hard to keep patience. But when we recenter on what’s really important, it’s not so hard after all.

Ideas to show love at home:

  • Speak in a kind voice. Your tone and volume can convey love even when you are disciplining or correcting a child… or even during a disagreement with your spouse.
  • Read up on love languages and do something special for each member of your family that fits their love language! I love Love Languages. Basically, it’s a way to tailor your expressions of love in a way that will be well-received by the person you are showing your love to. And I totally believe in them!
    • My husband is a “words of affirmation” guy. I’m not. So he was always giving me lots of compliments and I never realized that I needed to compliment him back to make him feel loved!
  • Make time for each other. I know, the whole goal here is to make the most of our limited time together, but the fact is- the more time you have with your family, the better! Families are just too important to leave up to chance. We don’t just sit back and hope our marriage will make it. We make it work! We don’t just hope our kids will turn out ok. We actively teach them to be responsible citizens! The more family time you have, the better.
    • By the way, everyday family time is WAYYY more important than once in a while family time (like family vacations). Try things like:
      • Taking your spouse on a date every week (even if it’s an in-home date).
      • Having a “family night” once a week and plan a special activity (even if it’s something cheap or FREE).
      • Get involved in your kids’ after school activities, clubs, or sports.
      • Help your kids with their homework.
      • Involve the kids in the household chores. They’ll get done faster (which means more fun time together) and the kids will learn important skills.

selective focus photography of woman and boy

Attitude 4: Compassion

Compassion is understanding other people’s problems, feelings, concerns, stresses, and misfortunes.

It’s caring enough to ask, and knowing enough to thoroughly relate.

It’s true empathy.

Ideas to show compassion in the home:

  • Create a Love Map of each family member’s life. This is a concept developed by John Gottman (see the link) that initially applies to your significant other, but it totally works for kids too!! Basically, if you really love someone, you should know the ins and outs of their life. Things like:
    • Who are your kids’ best friends?
    • What are your kids’ favorite foods?
    • What are your kids’ fears?
    • What are your kids’ goals?
  • Be an Emotion Coach to your children. Another awesome Gottman concept! If you don’t know about emotion coaching, you’ve got to check it out! It’s a scientifically proven method to teach your kids about emotions so that they can understand their own feelings and other people’s feelings. It’s great practice for adults too!
  • Ask each person how their day went, dig deeper, and really listen. That old question “How was your day?” is a great start! It can lead to understanding more about the details of your child’s life. But don’t stop there- ask more questions! Dig deeper! Get a real conversation going! And of course, make eye contact and give the child your full attention when they tell you.
  • Make one-on-one time with each person. Personal topics don’t always come up in front of a group. Even if the person wants to share, the group setting can cause them to stay quiet. If you make time for each child to have one-on-one time with you, they are more likely to open up about their individual struggles.

 

Ok, let’s get to the nitty gritty!!! You’ve got your family all gathered together. You’ve got the TV off. You’re all staring at each other…

Now what??

woman wearing white sweater carrying a daughter

Activity 1: Discussions

Family time doesn’t have to be full of excitement and packed with activities.

Some of my best memories as a kid are of my family gathered in the living room. We’d all be strewn all over. Some of us laying on the floor, some on couches.

There was never enough sitting space for all the people present, so there’d be a few of us on the arms of the couch, a few on the headrests, a couple on other people’s laps, just lounging anywhere we fit.

And then we’d just… talk.

That’s so hard to do nowadays because the TV or our phones keep us entertained. We almost HAD to be bored before we had the best conversations.

And these were amazing teaching opportunities for our parents! They got to talk about the things that are most important to them! They discussed religion, politics, our future, family goals, what things are important to them and why, how to be successful in life, and much more.

Here’s some ideas of topics to discuss as a family:

  • Religion. Or even if you’re not religious, discuss what you believe and why. Don’t forget to let each child form their own opinions and express them!
  • Politics and current events. It’s important for kids to understand specific issues in the world around them. They can start forming opinions of the best solutions and grow to be adults who passionately (and respectfully) defend their political views.
  • Your children’s future! What do they want to be when they grow up? Do they want to be parents? How will they make a difference in the world? Who will they help? What do they need to do or become now to reach their goals?
  • All about your kids!! This is a great time to develop those love maps! Ask all kinds of questions about your kids’ day to day life! Click here for some great Get to Know You questions.
  • Set family goals. My family decided we wanted to go to Disneyland together. There were a lot of kids, so that was no easy task to save enough money. But we set that goal together and then we worked hard to meet that goal! We saved pennies, we contributed money we had earned, we gathered change in WalMart parking lots, anything to gather the money! And then we finally got to go and had a blast!!!
  • What qualities we want to have. Set personal goals, with a whole support system in your family to help you meet those goals! Decide what you want to become, and work toward that goal- but you don’t have to do it alone! And you can inspire the others in your family to be better too.
  • Personal struggles. You’ve got a perfect, loving, non-judgmental, supportive community to bounce ideas off of! Need advice? Need to think through a solution? Family time is the perfect time! It’s amazing how often the kids have the perfect solutions to big adult problems. They really are clever!

person mopping the floor

Activity 2: Work

Yes, family time can be used for work… and SHOULD be used for work!

Life isn’t always fun and games. It’s important for kids to learn how to handle difficult thins too. Who better to coach them through that than mom and dad??

So get your kids involved in the work at home, and you get involved in their work tasks!

Here’s some ideas to include work in your family time:

  • Help kids practice! What are your kids involved in? Sports? A musical instrument? Chess? Try it out with them! They can teach you something, you can help them out, and you’ll have family time while checking one thing off the to do list! Not to mention that showing interest in something your child is interested in (even if you’re NOT interested in that thing) really goes a long way!!
  • Do homework together. Even if you don’t know how to do the problems, you can all research it together or maybe one of the other kids know the solution. 🙂
  • Get the chores done. Your kids can and should help with household chores. It’s great for them to learn how to clean a house! They are going to have to care for their own space someday, and it teaches them respect for the things they have. It also creates empathy for you and all the hard work you do for them every day.
  • Take care of the yard. Same story- just outside! Help your kids learn important skills and learn to value what they have!
  • Let older kids care for younger siblings or pets. Most people will become parents some day. Caring for younger siblings is great practice! But there’s an even bigger lesson-caring for siblings teaches kids how to sacrifice for the well-being of another person.
  • Help out a neighbor! When you teach your kids to work hard, help them learn to care for others outside the family too. You are a vital part of your community. You can build your neighborhood up and make it better! Your children will learn the magic of helping out someone in need.
  • Cook dinner together! Follow these links for all you need to know!!!

Activity 3: Fun

This is usually what I think about when I think of family time! FUN!

And it is a great piece of the puzzle- but now we know, it’s not the ONLY piece of the puzzle.

When you have fun, make sure you’re doing something fun for everyone in the family. Choose an activity that will reach out to a struggling family member. Choose an activity that will teach a new skill! Choose an activity that will require family members to work together cooperatively!

Here’s some great ideas of fun family activities!

 

Do you have other great ideas for family time?? Share them in the comments!!!

 

Well, that’s it!!

Go have fun, learn together, grow individually and as a unit!!

You’ll all be stronger and happier as you spend time with your family… as long as you make it QUALITY time!!!

For more information, see The Family: A Proclamation to the World. 

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

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Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

 

Trivia Answer: American families ONLY spend an average of 37 minutes per day of family time. 

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If "Mom" Were A Paid Profession... How Much Money Would You Have Earned in 2018?

If “Mom” Were a Paid Profession… How Much $$$ Would YOU Have Made In 2018?

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Moms, you have the hardest and the lowest paying job in the world. You are NEVER off the clock, you get no holidays off or paid vacation time, none of the traditional working benefits, no HR department to back you up, no handbook.

And you do it all for $0 per hour, $0 per year.

But what if you did get paid for everything you do?

What would that paycheck look like?

To find out, let’s assess these 13 “jobs” that all fall into the daily life of a mom and how much those careers pay.

(I used salary.com for all of my data unless otherwise specified)

Comment Below- How much money would be “worth it” to you for all the work you do as a mom if you were considering making “mom” your chosen career?

1) Nurse

Moms are the nurse of the family. We have to know how to diagnose common illnesses, what remedies to try, how to administer medication, and how to have great bedside manner with our little patients.

Besides all that, we are constantly on call for the job of nurse. If our child is sick at 2am, we’re out of bed taking care of him. If our kid is throwing up at school, we leave our day jobs to go pick her up.

How much do nurses earn?

There is quite a range. Pediatric nurse practitioners also work specifically with children. The average salary for entry level pediatric nurse practitioners is $102,545.

On the other end of the spectrum, a school nurse (who also specializes in working with children) makes an average of $49, 088.

2) Chef

person cutting vegetables with knife

Moms are chefs at home. They are the primary meal planner- in charge of creating a menu, taking inventory of what food is available, purchasing any necessary ingredients, preparing the food, and making good use of the leftovers.

It could be argued that parents also do the job of Server ($27,308) and Nutritionist ($60,467), but just to be conservative we’ll stick with chef.

But for simplicity sake, we’ll stick with chef. The average chef earns $45,396 per year.

3) Chauffeur

How much driving do you think a parent does every day? It’s a ton! Between all the different lessons and activities our kids are involved in (sports, music, dance, gymnastics, church, clubs, student council, etc.) not to mention just getting to school, I feel like I’m living out of the car.

There are days that we pack dinner to eat on the go just because we know there isn’t going to be time to drive home and eat between the kids’ different appointments. Moms are definitely chauffeurs.

The average chauffeur earns $33,417 per year.

4) Mediator/Judge

brown wooden gavel

Moms and Dads are constantly helping their children solve problems. This could be problems between you and the child, problems between two of your children, or problems between a child and their friends.

There are times when parents do the job of a judge- which is to listen to both cases, review the rules of the family, and make a decision about who was right and who was wrong. This almost always comes with administering some sort of punishment to the guilty party. It’s not a pleasant job.

Judges earn a whopping $162,653 per year! And they deserve every penny. Being a judge is rough.

Mediators are a little different.

Interestingly, they are paid less than a judge although mediating in a family can be more complex and involved than judging in a family.

Mediation involves listening to both sides using reflective listening techniques and guiding a conversation between the two parties to help them come to a reasonable solution on their own. Rather than judging where you are the final say, in mediation the goal is to have both parties agree on a plan of action. This is especially difficult when dealing with two parties who are angry with each other, and sometimes angry with you.

Mediators are paid an average of $64,174 annually.

(https://www.indeed.com/salaries/Mediator-Salaries)

5) Bookkeeper/Accountant

Parents have a lot of behind the scenes work to make a home run smoothly and effectively.

One important job they do every day is managing the family finances. This is comparable to a bookkeeper or an accountant. Moms and dads earn money, track expenses, complete tax forms, and budget.

The salary ranges depending on experience and education. A Bookkeeper ($42,015 per year) has more basic knowledge and skills rather than an Entry Level Accountant ($51,284 per year) who has more specialized training.

6) Professional Organizer

white ceramic bottles on shelf

Moms are constantly organizing. It’s the job of the parents to keep the living space livable– which means implementing all the life hacks that they can find to simplify the day to day juggle.

Moms find creative ways to store all their children’s items, like toys, backpacks, shoes, lunchboxes, video games, etc.

They also get clever about how to fit all the necessities of life into small spaces, making the most of the room that they have. It’s an amazing thing to see!

Professional organizers make $42,825 per year on average.

(https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Professional_Organizer/Hourly_Rate)


Other Great Reads: 

25 Best Mom Hacks that Save Time, Energy, and Money

10 Best Hair Styles for Mom on a Busy School Morning

AMAZING Miracle of Moms- Let’s All Be That Mom Every Day

Fill Yourself- Balancing Parent Life and Personal Life


 

7) Cosmetologist

Moms and dads are in charge of their children’s appearance, at least before the kids are old enough to do their own hair and choose their own clothes.

This involves a lot beyond just running a comb through each child’s hair.

Moms and dads wash, cut, and style their children’s hair. They paint fingernails. They even dress the kids.

The average cosmetologist earns $27,278.

(https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Cosmetologist-Salary)

8) Interior Design

four orange, green, blue, and red paint rollers

Parents are responsible for the general appearance and ambiance in their home.

When done well, this makes a big difference in quality of life.

Parents can design a home to promote fun, creativity, education, and relaxation. For example, a parent decides if there is a reading area in their home, if there are educational toys, if the wall colors encourage relaxation, if the children get a say in the design of their room, etc. There are endless possibilities!

Interior designers average $45,198 per year.

9) Photographer

It’s the parent’s job to catch all the wonderful moments in daily life and on special occasions. They are the photographer. It’s up to them to take pictures that will remind each other of the fun and happiness that we experienced as a family.

That’s no small task, and so important! It would be tragic to miss or forget the amazing details of childhood.

Photographers typically make $63,154.

10) Housekeeper

person holding two white towels

A housekeeper is similar to a maid. The job includes duties like doing laundry, tidying, deep cleaning and disinfecting, washing dishes, and making beds.

It’s important to know tricks to get stains out of clothes, how to clean carpets when kids pee on them, which cleaners are most effective for each surface in your home, and what chemicals are harmful to children.

Housekeepers average $25,091 per year.

11) Life Coach/Counselor

Moms and dads are constantly offering helpful advice to get their children through life’s learning process. This is one job of a parent that continues even after your children move out of the house.

You are called upon when your kids are disappointed by a bad grade, when a friend lets them down, when they go through a breakup, when they lose a job, when they move schools and miss their friends, when they don’t get along with their peers, when they experience bullying, when they make mistakes.

Your job is to offer emotional support, wisdom, and guidance.

You help them work through their feelings and guide them to find their own solutions.

A life coach typically earns $46,285 and a family support counselor earns about $38,926.

(https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Life_Coach/Hourly_Rate)

12) Purchaser/Merchandise Buyer

person holding basket filled with vegetables

Shopping is a never-ending chore for parents. Of course, I don’t mean the fun kind of shopping where you get cute new clothes. I mean grocery shopping. No fun.

Most businesses hire a purchaser, who is in charge of keeping warehouses and businesses stocked with essential items. That means everything from their top selling item to the toilet paper in the bathroom.

Moms do that too. We keep our homes stocked with everything from ketchup to batteries to shaving cream.

Purchasers earn approximately $91,360 per year.

13) Teacher or Teacher Aide  

All parents act as teacher aids. They are in charge of helping the child understand the concepts taught at school so that the child can successfully complete his homework. It’s not easy to explain and teach without just giving away answers.

Teacher’s Aids make $22,367 per year.

Some elite parents home school their kids. They take on the full role of teacher. That means you have all the duties of a teacher’s aid, but you also have to plan lessons, implement lessons, research various ways to present the information, test your child’s understanding, and meet the education criteria provided by your state.

I admire parents who can do all that because it’s a ton of work in addition to the regular workload of a parent!

Teachers make around $56,289 annually.

two babies and woman sitting on sofa while holding baby and watching on tablet

Moms, you’re priceless. But every once and a while, it’s nice to see a price anyways. 😊

I know, I probably forgot something…. The list is just so endless. You could include recreation management, pharmacist, tutor, car mechanic, seamstress, fashion designer, landscaper… There’s so much that parents do every day, there’s just no way to include every “job” a mom does.

 

Using the jobs listed above, let’s add all the salaries just for fun to see what the salary for all those roles combined would be!

Now, I know, adding a bunch of salaries isn’t exactly how a mom’s worth should be calculated because you have to control for factors like education requirements, professional experience, professional training, and special skills… Another limitation is that moms might spend much less time per job because they have so many total jobs to do rather than devoting a 40 hour workweek to each thing. For example, I spend about 7 hours per week helping my kids with their hair, but a cosmetologist spends 40 hours per week helping people with that.

Blah blah blah.

I know this number doesn’t mean much, But just for fun, let’s do it! We’ll get around to a more realistic dollar amount later.

All together… Mom jobs’ salaries combined equals….

$565,198 per year!!!!

 

Woo Hoo!!! And by the way, that’s going off of the lowest salaries combined- for example, there is a range in what accountants vs bookkeepers earned, so we used the salary for bookkeeper since it was lower. Just to be safe. So a mom’s salary could be even higher than that!

Again, this is a little bit of an unrealistic number because of various factors that need to be accounted for but WHO CARES???

It’s just nice to know that our work really is worth something!

 

Ok, I did promise a more accurate number.

I did find some awesome people who are smarter than me who did some accurate math to account for education, experience, etc. and the result was a more reasonable salary.

A mom’s (real and accurate) salary in 2018 should have been…..

$162,581!!!

 

person writing dollar sign on sketch book

Still good, but I like the first number better.

Comment Below- How much money would be “worth it” to you for all the work you do as a mom if you were considering making “mom” your chosen career?

 

Thanks for having some fun with me today looking into what a mom is “worth”. Seriously, there isn’t a number that accurately reflects all the love and patience and sacrifice you do every day.

But it is weirdly nice to know that we are worth a lot. What we do really is hard, despite all those haters who ask “What do moms do at home all day?” They might not understand all the jobs you moms do every day, but I do.

Keep it up! You’re amazing.

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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How to Create and Implement a Kick Ass Chore Chart

5 Steps to Create and Implement a Kick @$$ Chore Chart

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Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated: 2/12/2019

Chore charts are a great teaching tool for parents to use.

Children can learn:

  • responsibility,
  • hard work,
  • independence,
  • self-help skills,
  • empathy for the work that their parents do around the house,
  • understanding of how their messes impact the family,
  • confidence in their own abilities,
  • the relationship between our actions and consequences of our actions (cause and effect),
  • the joy of living in a clean space,
  • how to handle frustration,
  • the joy and pride of accomplishing something difficult,
  • and much more!

Children learn that they are part of a family and that means that they need to give back to support the well being of others around them.  

Each family handles the work load differently. It’s tough to know which method to use or who to ask for advice because your family has its own unique needs and circumstances.

Unique needs call for unique methods.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind as you are deciding how to best implement chore charts in your home… as well as some examples of my favorite chore charts.

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1) Too Big for your Britches

Development and age play a major role in a child’s capability to complete chores.

  • Younger children (2-5 years old) have shorter attention spans. They should be expected to complete simple chores that do not require much time (around 2-5 minutes- usually around 1 minute per year of age).
  • As children get older (6-12 years old), they are able to handle more time and focus on a chore (around 15 minutes at a time, again slowly increasing the time spent as they get older).
  • Teenagers should be able to complete complex chores and tasks around the home that may take much longer, such as laundry.
    • They are able to use deductive reasoning to see what needs to get done and follow through with the necessary tasks using time management skills. They should be independent in thinking through chores and taking care of their own areas/belongings. Teenagers with this skill will be capable of managing a home, apartment, or dorm on their own when they move out in a few years.

Choose chores carefully based on your child’s capabilities.

Don’t expect a child to do as much work as an adult would do or the same quality of work that an adult would do. Remember, you are teaching valuable life lessons, even if there are a few streaks left on the bathroom mirror.

Click the image below for a great magnetic chore chart that comes with many chore options for your convenience!
Melissa & Doug Magnetic Responsibility and Chore Chart, Developmental Toys, Encourages Good Behavior, 90 Pieces, 15.75” H x 11.75” W x 0.5” L

2) The Plateau Effect

On the other hand, we don’t want to make chores too easy.

Sometimes, parents implement a perfectly appropriate chore for a child, such as a 5 year old wiping down the kitchen table before dinner. The chore fits the child well and works well for the family.

But, as the child gets older, it’s the parents’ duty to increase the difficulty level.

Fight the rhythm of daily life- don’t get into a routine and forget to do this.

I call it the Plateau Effect. The child continues wiping down the table when she is 7, then 9, then 12. No new chores are added. No new skills are learned. The child is more resistant to learning new chores because all she has ever been asked to do is wipe down the table.

toddler's standing in front of beige concrete stair

Avoid the Plateau Effect by slowly adding chores to a child’s repertoire.

Remember that a child needs to know how to fully care for a house by the time they move out (let’s assume that’s at age 18). That means, you should be teaching each skill needed before that time.

Not only do they need to be able to wipe down the table, but they need to know how to sweep the floor, how to fold clothes, how to run the vacuum, how to dust, how to wash windows…. Everything.

Does your teenager know how to do laundry? How to clean a bathroom? How to organize their belongings?

Switch up a child’s expected chores so that they can experience all aspects of caring for a living space. Each time you change it up, expect to spend a little quality time teaching the child the necessary skills for the new task.  Then slowly fade yourself away, offering less and less coaching as the child figures gets better at the new chore.

Slowly increase the difficulty of chores or expect a more thorough completion of the chore throughout childhood until a teenager is capable of completing all the necessary tasks to live on their own- and can do each task well.

  • Example: If you ask a child to clean the bathroom at age 5, he picking up his bath toys.
  • By age 6, teach him how to pick up his bath toys and take out the bathroom trash.
  • By age 7, teach him how to pick up his bath toys, take out the bathroom trash, and wipe down the counter top.
  • By age 8, teach him to put away any stray objects in the bathroom, take out the bathroom trash, wipe down the counter top, and clean the toilet.

Click the image below for a chore chart intended for older children!
Chore Magnets for Older Kids (30 piece set)

3) Spruce It Up

Here are some of my top favorite chore chart ideas to make things a little more fun… and increase cooperation!

  • Let the kids make choices. This is a great way to decrease resistance to chores by allowing the child to take some responsibility. It helps the child feel heard and valued as a member of the family. They take more pride and responsibility when they get to have a say.
    • Some parents allow the child to choose which chores are on the chart and then the parent assigns a chore off the list each day.
    • Some parents choose the chores on the list and the child chooses a chore each day.
    • Some parents allow the child to choose one chore and the parent assigns one chore each day.
    • Some parents choose the chore, but allow the child to choose any time of the day to complete their chore. Some parents need to assign a specific chore time to make sure it gets done.
  • Make it a spinning wheel of chores. Whatever chore the wheel lands on is the one you complete!
  • Make it colorful and add cute pictures. Not all kids will respond to this, but some will like the chart more if it is visually appealing.
  • Add fun rewards- like music, a fun outing, tickling, a treat, a game, time using electronics, time with friends, one-on-one time with a parent, a small toy, stickers, or anything else your child is excited about! It doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to be fun! 
    • The reward should match the job done. If it was an easy job, the child should only receive a small reward. If it was a difficult chore or the child completed chores for an extended period of time, they can earn a larger reward.
  • Work alongside the child. This makes cleaning more fun, but it also teaches the child that you also work hard. This develops empathy in the child for the things you do around the house every day. It also shows the child that you are fair. You are willing to work hard too.
  • Try chore sticks! Click the image below!

Creative QT Chore Sticks for Kids – Make Chores a Game – Interactive Family Activity Combine Responsibility with Rewards – A Fun Alternative to a Chore Chart

  • Include all siblings in some degree. Again, this shows that you are fair as a parent. It also teaches each child the valuable lessons from participating in chores rather than just one child. Don’t make the mistake of letting the oldest do all the work!

Click the image below for multi- child chore chart! 2-3 kids can participate using this chart!
Multiple Kid Chore Chart for 2 or 3 kids use Dry Erase markers many themes

  • Make it a competition. Let’s see who can do their chore the fastest, or who can get the windows the cleanest, or who can throw trash into the trashcan like a basketball hoop, etc.
  • Break it down. If a new chore is too difficult for a child, teach pieces at a time and offer small rewards throughout. For example, if a child’s chore is cleaning the bathroom, you might teach him how to clean the toilet one day, then the next day teach him how to clean the sink, then the mirror, then the tub. Eventually, he’ll be able to clean the whole bathroom on his own!
  • Have a dance party while cleaning!
  • Set a timer. Some kids respond better when they know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Rather than cleaning until a particular task is done, children can clean until a timer goes off. The parent will need to decide if the timer signals the end of chore time or if it is just a break from chore time for a while.
    • Make sure the child does not get in the habit of cleaning slowly just to run down the clock!
  • Limit how many toys children have out at once to make the mess less overwhelming!
  • Clean often. Have a nightly pick up that involves the whole family. It goes fast with so many helpers, and it keeps the mess manageable. No buildup!
  • Let kids use tools. Cleaning tools, that is. It’s fun to try to work the vacuum, or use a duster, or a sponge, or play with soap spuds.

Click the image below to purchase child sized cleaning supplies!!
Melissa & Doug, Let’s Play House! Dust! Sweep! Mop! Pretend Play Set, 6-piece, Kid-Sized with Housekeeping Broom, Mop, Duster and Organizing Stand for Skill- and Confidence-Building

  • Get an app for that! Click the image below for a fun chore app that will help your kids enjoy chore time!

ChoreMonster

4) The Nitty Gritty Daily Challenges

  • Get into a Routine and Stick to It 

Once you have decided on a system that works for your family, stick with it!

Children tend to resist change at first, so they might not like the new chores that they are being asked to do. The more you apply your chore chart consistently, the less resistance you will face.

But if you cave here and there, you’ll have to fight that battle all over again from the beginning. Again. And again. And again… each time you try to get your kids’ help around the house.

Stick to your guns. It’s easier in the end. 

Click the image below!
My Responsibility Chart, Magnetic Dry Erase Wooden Chore Chart with Storage Bag, 24 Goals and 56 Reward Stars by Imagination Generation

  • Let Children Know What to Expect

It is easier for children to comply with parent demands when they can anticipate them.

Adults are the same way. Imagine your boss randomly changed your duties on the job and expected you to complete whatever task he threw at you at any time. That would be stressful and frustrating!

It’s easier to know what your day at work will look like. You know what your boss expects and what tasks you will complete.

Make things easier on your kids. Let them know what’s coming by keeping the routine the same and telling them of any changes to the routine as soon as possible.

  • Heads Up for the Kids

Don’t let chore time sneak up on your kids. Give them warnings beforehand. You can say things like “In 10 minutes we will start chores. Now there’s 3 minutes left. Now I’ll count down- 5, 4, 3, 2, 1- Chore time!!”

person holding white mini bell alarmclock

These warnings help kids anticipate when they will need to transition from whatever they were doing into a new task.

This can decrease frustration and tantrums because it allows kids to finish up whatever they are doing. It also allows them to prepare mentally to do something they don’t want to do.

  • Fight the Temptation to do the Work Yourself 

We all know that a kid’s attempt to clean the bathroom, or wipe down the table, or make a bed isn’t perfect. They try their best, but adults are just better at this stuff. We’ve had more practice after all.

Parents often have a specific way in mind that they like things done, and that’s even harder for a child to live up to.

Resist the temptation to fix your child’s work to make it “your way” or to make it perfect. This sends the message that the child did not do it right and that their hard work isn’t good enough for you.

person wearing gloves cleaning toilet bowl

If you really struggle with the child’s level of completion, complete the task side by side with your child.

  • Praise the things they do right.
  • Offer gentle guidance to teach them how to improve things that need work.
  • Slowly decrease the level of help that you are offering your child until they are able to do it all on their own.

This method takes time and patience, but it builds a child’s confidence and abilities rather than bringing them down.

5) Make it Happen!

This is the nitty gritty, get it done, just keep swimming, nuts and bolts, hard work of it all.

Now it’s your job as the parent to follow through and keep the system in place.

There’s nothing to say to make it easier... Except that you’re a rockin’ mama and you’ve got this!!! Good luck!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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