Many parents ask the question should allowance be attached to chores? The response is what are we training them for? The purpose of training up a child is to ready them for adulthood. There are many jobs that we as adults have to do around the house. I don’t remember ever receiving a paycheck for doing dishes, laundry or taking out the trash. One of the purposes of chores is to teach children that there are things that we do simply to be a contributing member of a family. There may be extra jobs that are not considered regular chores, such as cleaning out the refrigerator or cleaning windows, that could be done to earn some extra cash. This teaches a child to go above and beyond what is simply required of them. These extra jobs can also be used as consequences, without pay, for chores not done.
Many parents then ask how do I get my child to do household chores? We discussed yesterday setting up a reward/consequence plan for chores. We as adults do have a reward for household chores-a clean and relaxing living space. Think of some rewards,not monetary, that will motivate your child as well as consequences for chores not done.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on chores.
Chores Teach A Child To Choose
We discussed yesterday that chores train a child to do what is responsible rather then what is pleasurable. The question is where is a parent to start? The concept of chores is something that can start as early as preschool with simple tasks. In our house, we are working with our three-year-old son teaching him how to clean up after himself. He picks up one set of toys before bringing out another. Of course it would be MUCH faster, and I probably wouldn’t have to sing the clean up song, if I just ran around after him straightening. If I consistently did the work for him, however, then he wouldn’t be ready for the next step, cleaning his room on his own.
For any child utilizing the ICE plan is key for chores. Instruct them what your expectation is. Tell them ahead of time what the consequence is for not completing the chore and what the reward is for completing the chore to your expectation. Finally and sometimes most difficultly we have to step back and let them exercise their choice. Are they going to choose a reward or consequence?
In the residential homes at Sheridan house the teens have chores every morning. The room that does the best in their chores gets ice cream at the end of the week. Many kids are reward driven so attaching rewards early on for a job well done will easily teach that it’s worth it to work hard.
For more on chores listen to today’s podcast.
Why It’s So Important
Why is it so important to fight the chores battle as parents? There are four main reasons. First there is nothing that teaches a child personal responsibility as well as chores. It teaches a child to make the choice between what they want to do and what they need to do. This learned responsibility translates into many adult situations from credit cards to sexuality.
Chores can communicate that a child is needed. Every part of the family pitches in to help out.
It can also help to teach a child how to take initiative as well as learning the importance of excellence. If I do something right the first time I won’t have to go back and fix it.
Lastly it prepares a child for emancipation from the home. We have laughed about how many college freshman have no idea how to do laundry. But simply teaching a child how to do chores helps them to learn basic household management skills.
For more on why chores are such an important area to train your child in, listen to today’s podcast.
Why Don’t We Give Our Kids Chores Anymore?
This week will be spent talking about the importance of children doing household chores. The interesting thing is that it seems overall families don’t prioritize their children doing chores. Why is this?
There are many reasons for this but it seems that the main reason is time. We are all very busy from adults to children in the home, our schedules are jam-packed. The priority of chores has fallen by the wayside. It also takes a lot of time put in by the parent. It takes time to train your child how to do the chore. It takes time to inspect the chores and make sure that they are done to your standard. It also takes time to correct mistakes, as well as time to cheer when the chore is done right. This is why many parents shy away from the job of training their children to do chores. “It just seems faster and easier to do it myself. “
Chores are an important part of training a child however. There are many lessons that can be learned from them. Check back the rest of this week to see why they are invaluable!
Listen to today’s podcast for more on chores.
Learning About Your Spouse and Physical Intimacy
Make sure to take the time to learn your spouse. Are they the kind of person who likes surprises or do they need time in advance to adjust to ideas? When planning activities to help get out of a rut learning this may be key, to not only actually getting out and doing them but making sure that both spouses enjoy the process. This is even something that you can sit and do together. Together you can process through a list of things that would be fun to do as a family or on date night. If both spouse are involved in this process then both can be excited and looking forward to these activities. Then make sure to put the list on the family calendar.
You can never be married to long to bring romance back into the marriage relationship. Sexual intimacy is something that you only share with your spouse. It is special and sacred that is why it is also something that should not be ignored. For more on this topic click here to hear the series on romance in marriage.
Never Settle For Less
There are things we can do to make the marriage exciting. We need to find ways to get out of the routine. There does need to be some one on one time set aside with your spouse. Make sure to make time for date nights, but you can even set aside the time after the children go to bed for something fun for just the two of you. If you have older children that have a later bedtime, there can be a set time that they spend in their room before “lights out” in order for there to be time for your relationship.
There are many ways to incorporate fun back into the marriage. One of the ways to help a marriage not get mundane, is focusing on the friendship aspect of the relationship. Click here to see the week long series on how to become your spouses best friend.
Never Quit Trying
It’s interesting how we think of having an infant or small children as an exciting time/phase of life. It is draining, but we will still label it as exciting or never a dull moment. If we stop to think about it a baby can’t give anything back yet we are continually meeting their needs. Sure we may have moments of feeling overwhelmed with the magnitude of the task of caring for them but we still do it with out the expectation of anything from them. Why?…Because we love them.
How is this any different from our spouse? We should be continually working on and putting into the relationship, because we love them. Our society has trained us to look for quick fixes, but the marriage relationship is not a quick fix. It is a life long relationship. We need to make sure that we are doing our part. There will most assuredly be times where our spouse because of stress, other things going on in their life or even lack of knowing how, can’t give in the way we can. Instead of getting frustrated with our spouse, make the choice to be the one who goes above and beyond for the sake of the relationship. Remember the model for Love that was given to us, is the one who gave His life for us.
Choose To Prioritize Your Marriage
We need to be prepared to build a team or “become one flesh”. There are things that can hinder this process that we need to work through. The first is expectations. Often our expectations of how marriage will be, often unrealistic and influenced by Hollywood, can taint our attitude about real life marriage. Check out our week long series on expectations by clicking here. Very likely, because we are different genders and different personalities we will need to learn how our spouse communicates in order to do it effectively. Click here for more on this topic. Another reason that marriage can become boring is because we don’t take the time to make it a priority. Click here for more on this. Finally many don’t know how to “work on the relationship”. We need to give of ourselves rather then just waiting for things to get better. Make sure to continue making your marriage a priority!
The Relationship Takes Work
We try to talk about the topic of marriage here on Parenting on Purpose, once a month. Here are some of the reasons we feel that it is so important to discuss. First, if you are married, the parenting won’t work to its potential if the marriage isn’t working. Second, your marriage is training your children how to do their marriage in the future. Your marriage gives your children a secure environment or an insecure environment. Your marriage is a team of two people with different complimenting gifts which, when working together, can divide up the training tasks and bless the children. Lastly, your marriage is the team that builds the child or hinders their potential. It is the foundation the children can grow up on.
One thing that may shock us as we get married is that marriage is work. It takes work to make two separate lives, personalities, backgrounds and families into one life. It is continued work. If we don’t continue to give to our marriage relationship it can become stagnant. Everything that is alive grows. We must put the work into our marriage to maintain growth. Check back with us all week as we discuss how to put into your marriage relationship to keep it alive, healthy and fun.