Getting the family on a daily chore schedule will make everyone’s life run more smoothly. Divide up chores appropriately by person, age, day and the time that they have available. Dividing chores in this way makes housework fair and easier to manage. Create a schedule so that there is no question of who does what when. Use this guideline for ideas on creating chore charts and schedules for your family.
Toddlers may not be old enough to make a big difference in the amount of housework that needs to be done, but they are the perfect age for training them to do their chores without a fight as they get older. Focus on a daily schedule more than a lot of jobs. Make a time chart with pictures so that they can see what the plan is for each day. For example:
8:00 Get Up, Use Restroom, Get Dressed
8:10 Brush Teeth
8:45 Grocery Store with Mommy
10:00 Help Put Away Groceries
You can use pictures instead of words for small kids. Most children this age love to check things off of their list. Reward them for doing things on the list and offer a lot of positive reinforcement.
Kids that are a little older can do more detailed chores than preschoolers. Assign them more difficult chores with bigger rewards each year. With more responsibility should come more reward. In general, it is best to schedule chores in the morning before school instead of at night before bed. Once they are tired, they are more likely to complain or resist compliance. Again, keep the chores brief and fairly easy for a daily routine. You can include more intensive chores on one weekend morning.
The adults in the house can also benefit from a schedule. It’s easy to get caught up in work, meals, driving kids to dance, and a multitude of other daily responsibilities. It doesn’t take long for a house to get completely out of order. Give yourself and your spouse monthly, weekly, and daily responsibilities. Help each other out if there is not time or if someone is sick. Reward yourselves for a job well done and you’ll feel more like doing your chores on a daily basis. However, for adults, the reward of having everything in its place, clothes clean and put away, and the house in good working order is reward enough.