Family operations management is where the rubber hits the road in service to our families. After raising ten children and going through numerous systems, chore charts, rewards, and family meetings, our conclusion is: there is no silver bullet! Though we don’t have a perfect system for chores, we have some principles and ideas to share with you that we hope are helpful. We will always be training and teaching our children until they leave our homes, and that can be hard work, but it’s worth it!
- Everyone should pitch in. Remember all the people in the household are contributing members of the home. Everyone benefits from the food, clothing, and shelter you provide, therefore they should help in the upkeep of the home they benefit from.
- Make chores age-appropriate. So that you don’t get unnecessarily frustrated with the children, purchase child-sized cleaning items like brooms, mops, sponges, and brushes that children can really use to help around the house.
- Encourage your children to work alongside you. More than what you say to them is what you DO. Allow them to watch you work, and they will imitate you. Work more slowly and deliberately when they are with you.
- Chores have multiple built-in character rewards! Training your children to care for your home and belongings is a great way to teach them self-confidence, independence, responsibility, and respect for others. This is true for toddlers as well as teenagers.
- Lists are your family’s friend. Make a list of all the daily or weekly things that need to be done and divide them up among the members of the household. Sometimes chores are better done alone, some are better done with a team. Figure that out and write it down.
- Keep older & adult children in the loop. If you have older children, have a weekly meeting to review chores that they are assigned that week. Expect them to do those chores and try to not surprise them with chores at the last minute. Respect their time and treat them like adults. Then expect them to act like adults and do the job assigned to them.
- Utilize chore clusters. Consider “clustering” chores at a certain time of day or a certain day a week. For example, after dinner, the kitchen is cleaned, the floors swept or vacuumed, and bedrooms cleaned up. Or pick one day to have all the laundry washed and put away within 24 hours. Then you have several days to not think about it or have it piled up by the washer.
- Simplify, simplify, simplify. Take time on a regular basis to declutter, give away, and simplify the amount of your belongings. It’s good to do a major declutter at least twice a year, maybe during Advent and Lent. If you simplify your home and your belongings, you will have less things to manage and maintain. Your family will thank you!
If you have found these ideas helpful, we invite you to listen to our podcast on Family Operations, where we discuss chores as well as scheduling kids’ activities. We also have some resources that we have found helpful. Please use these links as the ministry gets a small commission if you sign up for the free app or purchase any of books or products. We love and use these!
- We have just switched over to Cozi for the family chores, calendar, and shopping list. Very impressed so far. Cozi is the #1 family organizing app. Create a free Cozi account and you’ll also get the 2018 Summer Planner Printables!
- Alicia loves Norwex for cleaning everything in our house. Norwex – the power to clean without harsh chemicals.
Also we have used this to help keep the Hernon army well-fed. Perhaps you should consider Once a Month Cooking
Previous podcasts referenced: