I grew up hating chores. They were always a punishment and always talked about in negative terms in the house. Still to this day I see dusting, vacuuming, washing dishes – as negative chores that should be hated.
Somehow though, I got Bean (3 yrs old) to think of doing the laundry as fun. So she helps me separate darks from lights, put them in the wash, move them from the washer to dryer, remove them from the dryer, and separate the clean clothes into categories (socks, shirts, or Little Man’s, Bean’s, Mama’s… you get the point). I’ve done the same thing with setting the table and clearing it after a meal. She ‘graduates’ to where she’s able to do specific ‘tasks’ (not chores) and be Mama’s Big Helper.
Hopefully this will grow in her a sense of responsibility – that her contribution is important; and a love for keeping things in order and helping others. I haven’t used cleaning as a punishment – except when she colors on the wall. Then she has to help clean because she made the mess. But it’s all in the wording, isn’t it? There’s a big difference between saying “you made the mess, now you have to clean it up.” and “You know that crayons are for paper. Sit in the naughty seat until the timer goes off. Then let’s clean this up together!”
So, I hope to keep cleaning as a privilege in my house. Because hey, once my kids are old enough to do it all, they’ll want to clean and I won’t have to! Right? For more Works for Me tips, head over to Shannon’s at Rocks in My Dryer.