Rethinking Chores

I just posted this on my Facebook and thought I'd share here:
I think this is some of the most helpful and reasonable advice on kids and housework. But it requires an attitude shift, and it goes against everything the vendors at the homeschool conferences tell you. But last year, we entered a new season where the boys were no longer motivated to help with housework. It became a power struggle, and I was losing.
I let them have a messy room. I cleaned the rest of the house. I quit trying to get rid of all their stuff because I was tired of cleaning it up. If someone wanted to chip in because I was demonstrating pride about my home and a good attitude, great, if not...that's cool too. Since I was doing a better job keeping up with the rest of the house instead of arguing who else was responsible for it, the kids wanted to have friends over more. And they wanted clean rooms to play in when they had guests. So naturally, their attitude changed from 'why in the world are we the ones who have to do this' to 'yeah, I like having a clean space to play with my friends.' 
We do punch cards for when the kids decide they are going to be really awesome, go above and beyond what I could have asked, and help without grumbling. My sons are old enough now to tell me that they can't stand nagging and yelling, so I don't. Or I try really hard not to. :-) My attitude about cleaning does suffer at times, as I am a hormonal woman and not perfect, but that is my own problem. Meanwhile, my home is more orderly now than it has been in years.


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