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I feel like the society we live in does not exactly promote the value of hard work. We have easy lives and so many things that make life so pampered. I want to share with you tips for teaching kids how to work. We have a chore system that has been working really well for us for a while now. I also have some great cleaning cloths called e-cloths that have made cleaning in our house so much simpler! (I received free product in exchange for this review, but all opinions are my own.)
Tips for Teaching Kids How to Work:
I’ll start with a book I read recently that inspired all of the change in how our chore system works. The book, Your Children Will Whistle While They Work by James J. Jones is an oldie, but really great! This book gives tips for motivation, age-appropriate chores, why work is important, and outlines a fabulous system of chores that has worked so well for us.
Motivating Kids to Work:
So, how do we motivate kids to want to work? Here is a simple formula. Need=Motivation & Motivation=Action.
If kids have a need to satisfy, they will be motivated to work to make it happen. Kids have lots of needs, most of which we as parents should supply, but some of their “needs” (like a toy they are dying to buy, a pair of shoes they really want, a candy bar or soda at the store) can be bought with their own money. Depending on how much you choose to pay them, you can have them purchase most of their clothes, gifts, and other things you are already buying for them.
Chores for Kids:
So what we have done is created a work chart that gives them points for accomplishing each task. If they do not finish the task, they do not earn the points. Certain tasks that affect the rest of the family if they are not accomplished (i.e. dishes, cleaning the bathroom), they get negative points for not accomplishing them. Points equal money. 10 points = 10 cents. They can also earn extra points for helping a sibling with a task or having a good attitude. This form can easily be edited and you can decide how many points each thing is worth indoor home.
Their points have to be marked and approved by me at the end of each day or they do not count. At the end of each week, we total all of them and pay them what they have earned. Then we work together to divide out their money into savings and spendings. Their spending money they can use to buy all of those extras that they want and I do not want to buy. I don’t let them spend it all on candy or toys, though. Each time they want to make a purchase, we evaluate it together.
I have a simple editable chart showing how our system works. (This was actually created by a friend of mine who shared it with me & gave me permission to share! Why re-invent the wheel??) You are welcome to use it and edit it to fit your family’s needs. You can see that they vary a little. My 4-year-old is not able to do the same amount and type of chores as my 10-year-old. However, he is very capable of doing many chores already.
Chores for Younger Kids:
My 4-year-old is involved in a lot of the work around the house, but he still needs guidance and assistance. He helps with dishes, unloading the dishwasher, washing windows, putting away his laundry, wiping the kitchen counters and table, setting the table, emptying small trash cans, and picking up toys.
A funny story about my little guy. He is in charge of washing the windows on our sliding glass door. One day, he did it without any assistance. He got out a bottle of cleaner, that happened to be leather cleaner. This stuff is GREASY! Kids always spray way too much on the windows. It took a lot of paper towels to get that window cleaned!
Right after that incident, I was contacted by e-cloth to see if I wanted to do a review of their products. I got to choose one of their products to try. I thought of my little one and decided to try their window cleaning set.
It came with two cloths a window cleaning cloth and a glass & polishing cloth. The way these cloths work is that you do not need ANY cleaner. With just water you can remove 99% of bacteria on the surfaces you are cleaning. It cleans so well! I was so impressed that I bought more of their cloths. I purchased some of the general purpose cloths and love them just as much!
I love reducing the cleaning products we use in our home, and it saves us money, too! I also love how easy they are to use. I don’t have to worry about my kids using the wrong things, or using too much.