There are several steps that I use to teach children new chores in our family. These simple steps have worked very well for me with each child that I have added to our chore rotation.
My children have daily chores that help keep our home maintained and generally clean. I haven’t added in cleaning chores like scrubbing windows, bathrooms, or floors yet but I plan to with my older children and will be using these same simple steps that I have always used when teaching them new chores.
I started implementing these steps when my oldest son was little and his “chores” were just helping me pick up his toys, etc. They have served me well over the last 14 years!
You can read what my household routine is for keeping a tidy house in my article: 6 Daily Chores That Must Get Done.
Large Family Homemaking & Family Chore Help
Large Family Mothering: Building your home one piece at a time
Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family
The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming
A Sane Woman’s Guide To Raising A Family
The Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ
The Lifegiving Table: Nurturing Faith through Feasting, One Meal at a Time
Teach Children New Chores In 5 Simple Steps
1) They watch you complete it while you give detailed instructions.
- I called my ten-year-old daughter into the bathroom the other day and had her watch me as I scrubbed the bathroom. I explained how & why to clean each section every step of the way. This was her first formal introduction to cleaning a bathroom.
2) They help you complete it.
- The next time I clean the bathroom, I will have her do small parts to assist me while I am cleaning and explaining like in step one. I will have her be more hands-on but as my helper only.
3) They complete it with your help.
- This time, she will be in charge of the bathroom cleaning and telling me what to do and how to do it. This gives us both a chance to see where she may need more practice or instruction.
4) They complete it with your supervision.
- At this point, she will have had 3 experiences cleaning the bathroom. She will attempt to clean the bathroom on her own while I watch and remind her when needed. This is like step number 1, but with reversed roles.
5) They complete it on their own and then you give an inspection.
- Now she will be ready for full responsibility of the bathroom cleaning! She will do her best job, as expected, and then I will inspect it.
It is important to note that I do my best to make it a joyful and good experience. This method & perspective applies to ALL of my children, I am just using my daughter as an example above.
- I do my best to be cheerful and encouraging.
- I talk about how important each child is to the “family team”, how these life skills will help them survive as adults, and how we should do all things as unto the Lord – giving it our best.
- I care more about their attitude and them doing their best than I do about perfection.
- I will repeat a step with the child, if needed, before moving on to the next.
- I will praise their effort.
- I will revisit the steps if needed if the child starts slacking in an area at some point.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Colossians 3:23
I also would like to add that these steps may happen and be completed over the course of hours, days, weeks, or even months – depending on what the chore is. Don’t be afraid to adjust them to your family’s needs!