Ok, so technically, we do have chores around our house and farm, but the farm jobs are the only ones we deem “chores.” I have never implemented the “chore chart” idea or assigned anything to anybody. I’ve often pondered it and once bought an expensive magnet chore chart system at a homeschool convention, but after attempting it for a week, I gave up and a couple years later, I sold it.
Yet, my kids still help me around the house daily.
How do we do it? Everything I’ve read maintains that assigned chores are the way to go and I’m one of the only moms I know who doesn’t “assign” their kids specific tasks for a specified amount of time.
There are two reasons:
- I’m somewhat lazy and disorganized and I’m not a list fan.
- My kids don’t want assigned chores.
Of course, you say. What kids want assigned chores?
So, here’s the deal. My kids are 14 and 11, so I’ve been doing the parenting gig for awhile and while I don’t pat myself on the back often for perceived parenting wins, I think I may have done something right way back in the day when they were toddlers and preschoolers of which I am now reaping the benefits.
Here’s what I did:
They constantly “helped” me around the house every day, all day.
And now, after a decade of it, it’s totally normal for my now big kids to help me when I need it, sometimes without asking (some things are just automatic) and sometimes with asking (but in a cheerful, non-nagging way). We work together all day. When we have our weekly deep cleans, they help- no complaining. When we have meals (which is every day, 3 times a day), they help clean it up, do the dishes, and clean the kitchen- with me. Sometimes we divide and conquer- “Elisa, you sweep the floor, while Lindy loads the dishwasher and I’m going to switch out laundry.” It works beautifully.
I asked them a couple months ago if they would rather have assigned jobs or do they like our current non-system. And you know what? They liked the status quo.
I think our lack of chores fosters a better sense of actually working together as a family rather than each individual completing an individual job because that what the boss (me) assigned. Yes, someday they will have jobs in the real world and that might be a scenario for them. But they will also have families in real world and I think a family home should be a much different place than a work environment.
So, let your littles work with you everywhere in the house (I know it can often seem counterproductive at the time!). That stage is so short in the grand scheme of things and before you know, you will be seeing the results of your hard work and patience. Clearing the table isn’t such a chore when you all work together and you can talk and chat and laugh.
And that is why we don’t have “chores.”
What do you think? Do you have a chore system? What is something you did when your kids were little that has benefited you and them now that they are older?