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Monday, October 30, 2017

Making Chores Work: the Power of Choice

My daughters have been doing small chores around the house since they were about 3 years old, as a part of their growing responsibilities as a family member. As they've grown the chores they do have changed, and this summer as the girls prepared to start kindergarten we revisited the family chore chart again. Today I want to talk about one aspect of how we do chores that I think makes them less of a burden and more of an expected part of life: choice.

Over a year ago I shared our family chore chart system in this post- I still love the idea of having my household responsibilities as the parent right there on the chore chart with the kids' chores- I think it makes it much clearer that we are all contributing! 

After using the same weekly chores for a year and a half, we revisited them this past summer. In the past, I had given them just a few options to choose from for which chores they did, but this time (now that they are 5.5 years old) I gave them the option to choose whatever chores they were most interested in doing. I was pleasantly surprised with their choices!

I've written before about how my girls have been cooking dinner together once a week for a few years now. One of my daughters loves it, but the novelty had worn off for the other one. So now just one of them cooks once a week, and the other chose things like sweeping and vacuuming. 

Unless they are really involved in doing something that they don't want to leave, I honestly never have trouble getting the girls to take care of their "jobs"- none of them are very time consuming, and since they picked them out themselves, it feels even less like they are being forced to do something. That's a win for everyone!

I'm sure eventually the girls will find out that there's this thing called allowance and realize they're being scammed, but I'm holding onto this sense of shared responsibility as a natural part of daily life for as long as I can! And I'm hoping that, even when they do start to be more resistant, that having this foundation at an early age will serve them well in the long run.

How do you handle chores in your family? What did you do as a child yourself? I know there is a wide spectrum when it comes to chores- I'd love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and stories in the comments below! 

If you want to read about the specific chores my girls have been doing at different ages, here are my past posts:

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