Families that work together spend less time arguing with one another. What’s it like inside your home? Does everyone do their part to help keep the household running?
Learning to Work Together
There are many things that go into running a household. Even kids can take part in keeping things going smoothly. Here are some of the things that you should be sharing, whether it’s between the adults in the household or something the kids can pitch in on as well.
1. Paying the Bills
While you’re not going to send your toddlers to work to help pay the bills, the adults in the household likely share that responsibility. Even if one person is responsible for a certain set of bills and another is responsible for the rest, you’re sharing something that helps take the stress off one another.
Financial woes are a common instigator of divorce. If you’re having financial difficulties, it can cause arguments that can lead to all sorts of relationship issues. That’s why it’s important to work together to get those bills paid.
Have a set budget for everyone in the household – even the kids that aren’t working (you give them an allowance for doing their chores, right?). Stick to that budget. Nix the credit cards – they’re nothing but trouble.
If you have high school graduates (or dropouts) living under your roof, charge them rent. It’s a wonderful lesson to teach children on the cusp of adulthood, and it can help take some of the cost of feeding them and paying their electric bill off of you and your relationship with the entire family.
2. Keeping the House Clean
The moment your children are old enough to understand cleaning and chores, it’s time to start having them help out around the house. Again, it takes some of the stress off of you while teaching them some of the skills they’re going to need when they become adults.
There are many jobs around the house that kids can help out with. Have them do the dishes, teach them how to do laundry, have them rake the yard or shovel the drive in the winter. They can help with gardening and so much more.
Make sure the chore you give them fits their age and abilities. If they’re not old enough to drive a dirt bike, they’re probably not ready for riding the lawnmower. You can actually find chore lists online that will help you come up with age-appropriate chores for your children.
Scheduling chores is an important step in keeping your family working together within the home, and as parents, you want to instill a good worth ethic in your children starting with home chores. This schedule will help everyone stay on track, and will let them know which chore they should be working on and when.
You don’t want to make the same person do the dishes or wash the toilet every day. A weekly schedule that shows all of the chores and who is assigned to do them can be put on a dry erase board on the wall, or you can print out a list you hang on the refrigerator.
To hold everyone accountable, consider having a space where family members can initial their assignment when they’ve completed the chore. This is a great way to add structure to your home and make sure that everyone is doing something to help out each day.
How to Get Everyone to Pitch In
As a mother or father, it is your responsibility to keep your household running smoothly. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things the kids can do to help out. You may need to make it fun, or at least interesting, to get them more involved though.
- Give Out Rewards – It can be useful to have some sort of reward system, especially when it comes to older children and teenagers. Whether it’s the restaurant or movie of their choice each month when all of their chores have been completed on time or an allowance for completed chores, you can be sure that some form of compensation is a great motivator.
- Don’t Make It Feel Like a Punishment – Rebellion happens when kids feel like they’re being controlled and punished. Don’t make washing the dishes or making their bed into a punishment. These are chores. They are things everyone needs to do on a regular basis. Teach them that and make it fun.
Working Together as a Family
If you do things together, at least in the beginning, you help your kids learn to do their chores properly. And by seeing their parents do the work, they’ll know you’re not just pawning things off on them. Rake the yard together, shovel snow together – make it fun for the whole family.
Feature image via CNBC.com