#FAMILY
Family Chores – 9 Ways To Get Everyone Involved

How to get the whole family to chip in.

By Steve Thio      27 May 2021

The June holidays are here again! Since we still can’t go overseas for a break, this could be a great time to not only explore local hidden gems, it’s also a great opportunity to catch up on all the household chores you’ve been putting off the past few months.

And since the kids are free, get them to help as well! Here are some ways and strategies to get everyone at home involved in cleaning and decluttering your abode.

Let’s Talk

The June holidays is a great time to ‘train’ members of your household to undertake tasks and chores; if all goes well, they can continue to be responsible for them even after the break is over.

Start off with a family discussion and make sure everyone understands the importance of the issue. Keep the tone light but make it clear that everyone has a role and responsibility in keeping the home clean and well maintained. You can address some of the issues that pop up during the discussion and negotiate the best way forward for each person.

Of course, before you even have a family session, it’s best to sort out the issues and discussion topics with your spouse first. This way you guys can present a united front to the rest of the family.

Get Organised

Plan and organise your chores – the printable forms from home organisation blogs are great starting tools. Make sure everyone has something to do around the house and assign the chores according to each member’s ability. It can be as easy as wiping the tables after meals or watering the plants, to more difficult tasks like doing the laundry. Even three-year-olds can learn how to clear their toys after playtime!

Plan Schedules

It’s important to have a daily, weekly and even a monthly schedule for your tasks. You can share your schedules with everyone or create personal schedules tailored specifically for the person, e.g. James waters the indoor plants every weekend on Saturday mornings. Specific watering instructions and additional tasks like pruning can also be added to this list as notes.

Do It Together

One way is to get everyone in your family to do their chores at set timings during the week, such as on a weekday evening or one of the weekend mornings. For example, you can schedule the weekend chores to be done right after breakfast and finished before lunch. Setting timings can help you and your family organise their own schedules for the rest of the day too.

And there’s a certain camaraderie when everyone is working together at the same time it helps to prevent resentment and conflict among the kids as well.

Do Trial Runs

Its good to have a ‘trial run’ of your new schedule with each member of your family. You can show them how to do the task properly – for example, how to wash the mop after cleaning each room – and explain what your expectations and standards are. Try not to nitpick the first time your family members embark on their tasks but emphasise the importance of maintaining standards that meet your expectations. Be firm, but be nice too!

Be Positive

No one likes to be told off for not doing a job well. There’s always a better and positive way of getting your message across without turning someone off – especially when it’s your own loved ones. So try and be positive in your tone and approach: praise when a job is well done, and take time to explain and offer tips and advice.

It’s Their Responsibility

Dedicated tasks help assign responsibility to individuals, especially if they have to do the task daily or every few days. If your daughter is assigned to sweep the floor or set the dinner table every day, then the task eventually becomes her responsibility and you can tick it off your list of chores to do.

Be Flexible

Remember: Try not to overwhelm with too many chores at the start. You can add on additional tasks once they are familiar with the existing chores. Getting everyone to adapt to a schedule and taking on new responsibilities takes time, so be flexible and try and negotiate the best working process for each member of your family.

Reward The Kids

You can always reward your kids in-kind for the work they do – either with an additonal hour of game time or an afternoon at the playground. Just make sure they complete all their tasks satisfactorily before you dish out the rewards.

If you want to reward kids with money, it would be good to assign set sums to certain tasks. The more they do, they more they earn – kids then will learn the lesson of how hard work earns them money.

Do you have tips on getting the kids to help out with chores? Share them with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg!

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