Guest Article, Want Help Around The House?

Want Help Around the House? 9 Strategies for Developing a Household Chore System

Parents serve as a child's first and most consistent teacher of essential life skills. Written by Professional Organizer and mom of two, this article delves into seven critical strategies for teaching keeping your home organized and running smoothly by teaching your children home management skills that develop self-sufficiency and self-esteem.

You know how it is ... You come home to find the house a mess, backpacks in front of the door, the kids are screaming at each other, clothes strewn everywhere, dirty dishes in the family room, more dirty dishes on the kitchen table. And the moment you ask for help, a bigger screaming match breaks out.

You know your children need to be responsible and self-sufficient, but life happens. You vow to implement a system, saying to yourself "I'll get around to it later". But in the real world, later often never comes.

Studies show that children who perform household chores during their school years attain more success in adulthood than those who do not. Follow these simple strategies and you could soon be hearing ... "Mom, Can I Help Around the House?"

1. Assume the role of teacher

Children learn to read, write, add and subtract from their school teachers. A parent's role as teacher and mentor of essential life skills and home management is equal in importance.

2. Commit yourself for the long-haul

Consistently send the message to your kids that you're in this for the long haul. You will be rewarded by their commitment as well.

3. Provide age-appropriate tools and instruction

Give your child every opportunity to succeed by providing the right tools for the job, ample instruction, modeling how you want the job done, a timeline for completion, and provide plenty of opportunities for practice.

4. Model the Behavior You are Teaching

As the cliché goes "actions speak louder than words". If your children consistently see the adults procrastinate in their responsibilities, then the children learn to do the same.

5. Get Buy-in by Involving Your Kids in Designing a Chore System

The more involved your children feel in the process, and they feel that their input is valued, the more ownership they will feel for the assigned tasks and the overall success of the system.

6. Create Non-negotiable House Rules

Without ground rules, how can you expect your children to know what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable behavior? Rules provide the boundaries children need to help them learn and practice acceptable behaviors.

7. Normalize Home Maintenance Routines

Every family member should have responsibilities to help family life run smoothly. Set the precedent that performing family chores is as normal as brushing their teeth.

8. Acknowledge How Their Contribution Helps You

When your child learns how much their contribution helps you, you are actively reinforcing a child's desire to contribute more. It not only boosts their self-esteem, but it also develops their sense of service to others.

9. Be Consistent in Your Discipline

Child experts agree that sending mixed messages to children with inconsistent discipline creates the most resistant maladapted behavior of all.

These nine strategies will help give you guidelines and strategies for implementing your own household chore system where every family has an age-appropriate role in home maintenance.

Article Tags: Household Chore System, Help Around, Household Chore, Chore System

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Janet Nusbaum (AKA the Organizing Genie), WAHM of two, is an Organizing Consultant, & Author of 'Mom, Can I Help Around the House? A Simple Step-by-step System for Teaching your Children Life-long Skills for Pitching in & Picking up'. Grab a FREE CHAPTER of her book & household chore system at . Get even more organizing & family management help by visting her blog:
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