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The Chore Challenge
Photo: Glenda Powers
Household chores. Bring up the subject, and you’re almost sure to see children running in every direction. Chores are not a favorite, but they have to be done in order to keep the home running smoothly. Here are some tips to making sure that everyone is doing their part.

1. Start out small – If you have little children, it often seems easier to just do the chores yourself. However, if you want them to have a good work ethic when doing chores later in life, you’ll need to start them at a young age. Sometimes it’s even necessary to help them hand over hand at first, but it can pay big dividends later.

2. Make a rotating schedule – My wife has put together a household chore schedule for each week. Duties include washing the dishes, sweeping the floors, vacuuming the carpet, and putting away the clean laundry. Each child gets a turn for each chore at least once a week. (That may be good news or bad news to the child depending on which duty they have today.) Consistency in this department can go a long way in getting those necessary daily things done.

3. Make a job jar – Every Sunday, we open the “job jar” and each child gets to pick a slip of paper out with an assignment written on it. Sunday evening, we go out for a special treat when everyone has finished their job. This is in addition to their regularly scheduled chores, and it helps us get the extra jobs accomplished together.

4. Make whining pay – Setting a specific punishment for “whiners” can be an effective deterrent to the constant grumbling. In our home, the job gets done cheerfully or an additional job is assigned from the job jar.  That usually curtails the grumpy talk.

5. Be a good example – If you include yourself in the chore schedule, you help your children to understand that everyone participates in accomplishing the tasks at hand. Your cheerful attitude toward getting things done can positively affect the way your children see the jobs assigned to them.

6. Don’t pay them to be part of the family – Being a family member comes with responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is doing our part. When we pay our children for every little thing they do, they may begin to feel entitled. Show them that it’s OK to participate in the family workload without being compensated every time.

7. Give everyone a day off - God gave us the Sabbath for a reason…to rest! Your children will look forward to that day off, and so will you.

Getting all the chores done can be a challenge, but being intentional about the way we work towards getting it all done can make for a happier, more orderly home.

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Michael Temple. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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