Summer is just around the corner and for some, it has just begun! I have this annual vision or…perception…or maybe it is hope that summer will be restful, rejuvenating, relaxing. My kids share my summer dream.
But… the house still needs to be cared for, laundry keeps coming, the grass and weeds grow, and for some reason people still need to eat.
So, how can all these household jobs be managed well? Surely The Mom shouldn’t do it all. Yes, sharing work is a good thing.
For your younger kids, assign regular daily or weekly jobs like: make the bed, match the socks from the laundry, and set the table. Have a rule that states the jobs are to be completed prior to the daily outing. Post the work to be done and the name of the worker on a Jobs Board.
Posting the assignments, gives the child some accountability to the responsibility.
Now if you have a tween or teen you can expect a little more work but you can also expect a little more whining. To eliminate the teen fussing and to get the rascal up before noon, set a list of jobs out the night before. In the morning, the first one awake puts his John Hancock next to the job or jobs he will do that day. But the job must be started immediately following the choosing of said job. (You can see the trick that could be applied here-pick the quick and simple jobs and then go back to bed. Yah-no…I’m on to that one!)
And just as with the younger kids, first the chore then recreation.
The reason my four teens would be so eager to get up earlier to choose was because some of the jobs were much easier than others.
A Sample of the Wildenberg Daily Summer Chores List:
1. Feed the dog.
2. Unload the dishwasher.
3. Water the plants.
4. Fold, separate, and deliver laundry.
5. Dust the main level.
6. Clean the bathroom.
7. Vacuum the main level.
8. Sweep the garage.
**Pick two jobs.
I’m sure you can see why the first three on the list happen to be the most desirable! And I would have some jobs defined as paid positions. Like: washing the floor, painting a piece of outdoor furniture, touching up the stain on the baseboards. You get the idea.
Even in the summer, maybe especially in the summer, kids need to be a part of the family and pitch in. And having the ability to earn some money with some of the more time consuming and difficult work is beneficial for child and parent.
Then everyone, including THE MOM and THE DAD can have some rest, rejuvenation, and relaxation.
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business
and to work with your hands, just as we told you,
so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders
and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
By Lori Wildenberg, licensed parent and family educator, author speaker, and co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.
Lori’s 4th and 1st solo book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home has just been published! Lori is the lead mentor mom for Moms Together (a Facebook Community Page) and a contributor to a number of online magazines: Crosswalk.com, The Munce Blog, The Mom Initiative, Life Notes Cafe, ChristianParenting.org, and Her View from Home. Lori also writes the monthly Family Matters column for Red Rocks Views magazine. Catch Lori’s practical and warm-hearted faith and family blog Eternal Moments every Monday. She is available for speaking, parenting workshops, and parent consulting and coaching. Contact Lori at LoriWildenberg.com.