Five people live in our beautiful house. Five people and all of their stuff fill every corner of our beautiful house. Five people also wear clothes, use dishes, take showers, and brush their teeth in this beautiful house. Because five people contribute to the clutter and mess, five people should participate in keeping the house clean and organized. Makes sense, right? Our reality, Momma does most if not all the cleaning and organizing. Enter the family job chart. Here are the why and how of my family job chart.
Mommy does not ask for help
Yes, my friends, the biggest reason we need a family job chart is because I do not ask for help. I just do things. I do them on autopilot without considering an alternative. My husband on the other hand, rallies the troops and coordinates cleaning missions of mass proportions. He has no problem getting all the children involved to accomplish a task. The four of them together are a force to be reckoned with on the big once a quarter cleaning. I finally decided I need to harness some of that strength for the regular, mundane cleaning of our home.
Children need clear expectations
My children work much better with clear expectations of the tasks they need to accomplish. There is a huge difference between clean the kitchen together and dividing the tasks between them. My little squad works better with tasks divided into thirds and assigned. They actually are more likely to help each other when they each have a set task. Crazy isn’t it! If I say unload the dishwasher together, it turns into a pushing, shoving, snipe fest. If I say Mariana unload the dishwasher, the other two volunteer to help, so they can move on to the play I interrupted with my pesky chores. Dividing and assigning tasks sets them up for success.
Children need routines
My children are more receptive to tasks if they know they are coming. If they know they need to unload the dishwasher after dinner, they will do it with little complaint. Take the same task and randomly ask for completion at 4:30pm and the world comes to an end. I think the problem in scenario number two is the interruption mid-activity. It is my hope by utilizing the family job chart, we can come up with a clear routine that accomplishes tasks without interrupting them mid-play. I think this works better for everyone.
What do I put on the family job chart?
My family job chart is not an extensive list of every chore performed in our household. There are still going to be times when I say, “today we are going to do X” and work together to get it done. Instead I assigned each child a few tasks that are their responsibility to perform every week. Some tasks are daily and others are once a week. My goal is for my kiddos to learn valuable life skills and responsibility for one’s environment. The tasks are small now and will evolve as they grow. I do after all have the responsibility to raise self-sufficient adults, which will not happen if I always take care of the hard stuff.
The family job chart is printed out and posted on “Family Central”, otherwise known as a large white board where we keep track of life. I wanted to save myself some time and found a downloadable template instead of creating my own. I made it in full color, but then realized I am out of colored ink. So for now it is in black and white and I will replace my colored ink soon. Everything is better in color. Stickers are more fun than check marks, so we will purchase some stickers as well. Our new plan goes into action on Monday. Fingers crossed, my family job chart goes as planned and gives my children the expectations and routines they need to help Momma out around the house. The land of Controlled Chaos will soon enjoy a cleaner, more organized home, without nagging and drama.