Today's guest post is from Laura of Finding Encouragement. One of the biggest obstacles I have come across in being a homemaker is keeping up. I have my dear husband who works a not so normal schedule, and my two children who are now ages 7 and 9. Since my kids are a bit older I have really tried to give much more thought to them helping out around the house. With that said, I am a perfectionist and I am working with God to let that go so that I can relax, accept anyone’s help and be OK!
When my kids were little I would do it all. And somehow I managed to do a pretty good job of it. Now blame me getting older, God taking control, or whatever I want, but I am finding it more and more difficult to keep up with it all. So what system could I come up with to make life a bit easier for us all, mom a bit less stressed, and the kids knowing the importance of helping out?
- I needed to learn to let go more. Accept the help I got, give direction to others when needed, and be ok with things not being perfect. (This was and still is hard for me.)
- Children really do like to help. They like to do it their way, and at their speed. So give them the chance and let them do it. Worst case you come with a cloth behind them and do a little touch up but hey they get a great sense of accomplishment to do it by themselves. Doing it together is always a learning experience also, but you have to let them to 99% of it so they can learn! For instance my daughter use to love to do the dishes, but oh the mess she could make. So I let her do them, but with a bit more direction at times. (keep the water in the sink) Ya know? The dishes would be rinsed and somewhat scrubbed by her little hands, and the dishwasher did the rest of the work. We were able to do it together so she learned over time by example and trial how to do them properly.
- Rewards: Who doesn’t love a reward? Me personally I LOVE the reward of all three bathrooms cleaned in one day, my house in order and smelling lovely. (I know I am crazy, and the twister comes through faster than I can enjoy it most days.) I have found for my little ones they need consistency and something they can get their hands on. For us play dates with a special friend, a planned outing and or picnic with the family, or going to see someone that isn’t too far have been great rewards for our children. Also because we believe it is very important to teach our children how to manage money we do reward them financially for doing a great job that week. With the financial reward they are taught how to save some, give some to church, and put the rest in their wallets for garage sale day, or a new book, or toy.
- Finally, consistency. I would venture to say that almost every human does 99% better when they have a consistent schedule. We have a list of their daily things they need to do, since my kids are a bit older they have a colored list of activities that need to be completed for that day also. Some must be done in the morning every day, and other things in the evening. They know this and they have lists of it in case they forget.
I have found that these simple things help my family to stay on track and help my little ones to know that they have expectations too for the family! They are able to see it for themselves and keep track themselves.
How do you get your little ones of any age to help out? Kids are amazing they can do so much even at the 1 year old age!
Laura is married to her wonderful husband Ryan of ten years. Together they have two children ages 9 and 7. Laura loves to help and serve others. She is a work in progress blessed by God’s love and grace for her and her family. She is excited to be joining the Homemakers Challenge community. You can find her writing at Finding Encouragement and follow her on Twitter @OurGreeneLife.