Most families like the idea of chores and have tried chores at sometime in their homes. At some point chores breakdown and they just don’t work. Slowly they slip down the list of things to do and gradually get done again by the parents.
Chores are an opportunity for the family to work together without everyone doing the same thing. We are all parts of a bigger whole. As we work together our home, our attitudes, our relationships are better.
Here are 3 reasons why your chores don’t work and how to change it
1. You’re doing too much
Somehow you or someone else in your family are doing the lion’s share of the contributions. Maybe you love making sure everything is done just so or it has just defaulted to you because you’re around or have always done it.
Times change. There are new jobs, new ages and stages of the children, new expectations for work, studying and college classes, starting a new hobby, that new evening job.. when was the last time you had a conversation about redistributing the contributions?
Isn’t it time other members of the family contributed?
Change: Make a running list for a few days to a week of what you do and what your children do. What’s ONE thing you could teach them to do?
2. You call them chores and not contributions
No-one likes a chore and we don’t feel like we have to do it. In fact we kick and scream against it. Ask any child!
When we need to contribute but don’t want to, this is a different mindset. The family works together as a unit and we contribute to the success and failure as a group. When we all contribute we’re helping each other, ourselves and our unit.
When you do a chore the perception is you’re doing for your parent or that person. Naturally you’re going to be resentful and annoyed many times. But if you’re contributing to the household. You’re part of the household and now you have a feeling of being a member who has rights and responsibilities ( not just rights!)
Change: Call a family roundtable or bring it up over a mealtime when you’re altogether the concept of working together as a family and changing the name of chores to contributions. Alongside that changing the mindset of us and them to how we work together.
3. The mix of contributions
When I first started out with contributions everything was for my son’s benefit.
- He had to pick up HIS clothes.
- Make HIS bed.
- Pair HIS socks.
- Pick up HIS toys.
Great beginning contributions but soon enough I had taught him that we contribute to ourselves only. If I asked for anything else he really didn’t like it. We added in some communal things like wiping the table, hoovering the hallway- places that he used as well and that attitude got better.
Just by looking over our contributions as a family and making some small changes we stopped them from doing contributions that ONLY benefited themselves and this was a big step in changing the way we did contributions.
Change: Always have a mix and blend of contributions that serve others, service ourselves and serve the family. Teach them how to mind each other and be respectful of each other.
There are no magic solutions with contributions. Since each family is different we have to experiment and find what works for our family. Listen to this podcast about Contributions to get a closer look at a contributions system that works.
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