As parents, our To Do list seems to never end. Sometimes I enjoy a completely finished To Do list and then that 1 minute passes and 5+ more things are added. How do we manage it all?
Or, maybe an even better question is, should we manage it all?
When I lived in my childhood home, chores were a part of my daily life. My mom raised four kids and each of us pulled our own weight. Honestly, she was and is such a supermom that she probably could’ve done it all herself. But she didn’t because she knew that wasn’t in our (her kids’) best interest. She engrained this Scripture into my brain: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Assigning us chores wasn’t busy work, nor was it to alleviate my mom’s responsibilities. Creating a culture in the home that says “We all take part in this life that we live together” was crucial to learn as a kid so that I could carry it with me to college, my adult life, and my family life. She had a future-mindset about chores and it passed down to me, too.
Now that I’m a parent, I have an opportunity to mold my child’s mindset about chores. I’m choosing to pass on my mom’s approach of collective responsibility within the home, but with a twist: I want my kids to actually enjoy doing chores.
Three tricks of the trade to go from chore “duty” to chore “fun”
1. Assign the chore they would be most receptive to doing.
Is your child into dress-up, makeup or clothes? Give your child the responsibility of cleaning all the mirrors and bringing dirty clothes to the laundry room.
Is your child sporty and into all activities? Time whatever chore you want your child to do. Each “clocked time” gets recorded so he or she can work toward a personal best.
2. Turn up the music.
No one can resist moving to the beat of their favorite song. Whether it’s the Moana soundtrack or Journey, bump up the sound on their music of choice where work is being done.
3. Make it a group activity.
You work while they work. If your motto (like mine) is “We all take part in this life that we live together,” then they need to see you working, too. It’s a physical display of teamwork. Plus, hello efficiency!
When I practice all these tricks with my son, he moves from chore to chore with no grumbling or eye rolls! He even feels proud of himself and asks “what else can I do?” This service mentality goes way beyond the home – it reaches into loving and serving others, and even more importantly, loving and serving the Lord. Chores are a wonderful opportunity that we get, as parents, to cultivate a mindset of service within our kids. But while we’re at it, let’s make it fun.
Grace Richmond finds freedom in allowing Jesus to take His rightful place as our Counselor and Guide, but remains mindful that God created us to provide community and encourage each other here on earth. Grace has been led to write so that she can be your community, your accountability, and your cheerleader! She hopes that her writings about single parenting and personal growth will jump off the page (or screen) and bring hope and joy to all who read.
Grace would love to connect with you and talk about what’s on your heart. Reach out to her on Instagram @likegracekelley.