I read all these articles on how important it is for kids to have chores etc. and I agree with every detail in these articles. The only thing that is very hard for me is to nag or fight with my kids to do something. I honestly would rather just do it myself if I am going to have to give up a huge amount of emotional energy to get my kid to sweep the kitchen floor. Yes, I am sure in the long run it will be good for her blah blah blah, but this is me, and I just cant go the begging, fighting, threatening route.
BUT... Baruch Hashem, I have come up with a system that really really works for me.
Cleaning help is very unreliable and expensive where we live, so I have someone who comes in 1-2 times a week to CLEAN- not tidy. She scrubs the floors, bathrooms, under beds and couches, windows etc. So thats really good. But I need the man power for day to day activities to keep the house tidy: loading and unloading dishwasher, sweeping, laundry, bedroom and playroom maintenance, vacuuming, counter and table wipe down, even cooking.
So here is what I came up with and it has been working amazingly for over a month and apparently it takes 30 days to establish a new habit, so I can consider this a success!
Each child gets to pick something on Amazon for $20 and put it in the cart. They then get a chart with their name on it and 40 boxes to fill in. For every chore they do, they color in a box. When all the boxes are full, we buy the item they put aside.
I am not joking when I tell you that my 10 year old walks into the kitchen and unloads the dishwasher every morning, without me having to say a word. My 7 year old vacuums the living room, no questions asked. My 5 year old sets and clears the dinner table. I KNOW kids should do these things naturally without being rewarded, but the way I see it, they are learning that when they work hard, they will get nice things. I also believe the more they do it, the more naturally it will become, case in point, my 10 year old got his Lego after a month of doing chores, and continues to do things without me asking- not as vigilantly as before, but he's doing it until his next chart goes up.
The kids are so happy to help, to fold and put away laundry, sweep the kitchen etc. and there has been NO nagging, begging, fighting or pleading on my end which honestly was my main goal. And everything is getting done.
And now when I do need to ask one of the kids to do something in the house, it is not met with any excuses. It just gets done and they run and color in a square. Thats it.
I really don't consider this bribery. I consider it compensation for chipping in in keeping the house clean. The kids bedrooms are clean every day without me having to ask. The laundry is folded and put away daily. The dishes are washed and put away daily, and things are running smoothly. Kudos to the moms who have their kids doing this without a reward system- hats off to you. But for me this works wonders. Worth every penny.
Good Luck in your home management endeavors!