After The Pandemic: Come Out a Stronger Family
It’s almost been a week that we got the news that school was closing.
Everyone home, 24/7 = Messes Everywhere.
And for most of us moms, cleaning up and dealing with the daily “to do” list falls on us. This might fly when our kids are at school and busy with after school activities. However, when we’re dealing with the family being home and relaxing in the afternoons and we’re left looking at the mess and no one around us really cares, well this can be a set up for resentment. And if you’re like me, you do not want to be around me when I’m feeling taken advantage of and working double duty.
We may be in this together for the long haul. How awesome would it be, if we could say at the end of this “togetherness” time, that we learned how to work better as a family team – that everyone did their part, helped out and learned some new skills along the way.
Even if this is at first met with resistance (which chances are it will be), it’s good for everyone and we can persevere and expect more not in a controlling way, in a “this is who we want to be as a family” way.
We are here to help to make it easy for you to get your whole family involved so you spend these days in your home, happier, more peaceful and enjoying your family versus angry, overwhelmed and resenting everybody.
Chore charts are great but if you’re like me I lack the consistency to keep up with them.
This is the BEST and EASIEST way that we have found to get your family working as a team and helping out with the daily “to-dos”!
This idea will spare you a boatload of resentment, is actually fun and gets the whole family involved in helping out. Not only that, it’s flexible, and you can make it work to your specific needs!
Change it up based on what chores you need done each day.
Your tween or teen can pick and choose their chores based on a first-come basis or you can assign them.
The sticky notes make it easy for the kids to “check” off their chores by tossing them in the garbage once the chore is done, which tweens and teens love to do.
-Get a pad of multi-colored sticky notes.
-Take a piece of paper and write every single thing you can think of that needs to get done around your house. Put yourself on the list, and your husband if you’re married and list the names of your kids.
-Take your sticky notes and assign each member of the family with a color.
-Divide and conquer: Take what’s on your list and assign a few or more tasks a day to each family member (it helps to take into consideration what they each enjoy doing and their age).
-Stick on the wall lined up under each name.
Give them instructions: Take one sticky note at a time and once it’s done you can move it to the place where it says “done.”
A nice formula that can help is When you _______then you can _______.
For example, “When you do the dishes and take out the garbage then you can play an hour of video games.” This helps with nagging or threatening punishments or with-holding things (which can create power struggles and arguing). This allows them to have the freedom to choose if they will or won’t get whatever that is that’s a motivator for them.
Keep on going until your sticky notes are moved to the “done place” each day. Once the chores are done they are free to do what they want (within reason).
What I also like, is we can join them. If for example, you want to clean up your desk, you can give yourself a sticky note and make yourself work for 30 minutes on getting rid of the excess papers and reward yourself with reading a book when you’re done. This is a great model for teaching our kids to learn how to motivate themselves, being responsible and the positive feeling you get when you accomplish something.
Expect some resistance but don’t allow that to stop you. I promise if you stay calm and follow-through, you will reap the rewards with your perseverance. Remind yourself that chores are an opportunity to teach your kids responsibility, caring for belongs, being a part of a team (the family) and learning important skills as they are inching towards adulthood.
Note: Don’t expect them to know how to do things. If they don’t do it properly or up to normal standards, rather than criticize, show provide guidance and direction. Teach them how to clean, use the lawnmower and organize things, etc. And make sure to affirm them when they do a good job! Positive feedback is the best motivator of all!
***We have also found this idea can be helpful for getting your kids up and ready to face each day without their normal schedule in place.
Create sticky notes for things like brushing your teeth, washing your face, getting dressed, etc. They have to move it to a “done” area after they have completed it. It will keep the burden of nagging off of your shoulders and hopefully make this time a little less stressful and a whole lot more enjoyable for everyone. Because the truth is, it feels good to help out!