I mentioned in an earlier post about creating Standard Operating Procedures for your home (SOPs). These are very commonly used in business and the concept can transfer over to running your home as well. It helps you and everyone else know what the routine and expectations are in your home, which should in turn help your house run smoother (most of the time anyway!)
One major cause of stress for moms is the fact that we TRY to do everything ourselves. We usually would like for others to help us, but we hate to have to ask for it, and sometimes it is just easier to do it ourselves.
Setting up SOPs will take some time and effort on your part, and training of your children, and even your husband! If you are consistent, however, these procedures can help to relieve some of your stress and pressures.
In the first post, we talked about having a morning routine. Part of this routine was the kids knowing what was expected of them, what they had to do each morning before school.
It also helps to have a routine after school so they know what they have to do when they get home. While I do believe kids need free time to be kids, I also am a big believer in teaching kids to do their fair share around the house.
Kids are very visual and love charts and checklists. And if you have a chart for them to look at, they don’t have to constantly ask you what they need to be doing, or more likely, you won’t have to go find them and nag them with every little thing they need to do.
Obviously you need to find a chart and system that works best for your family, size, ages of children, whether you work outside the home, married or single, all these will have an impact on how your children’s responsibilities should be assigned.
Below are some different options I have found. Check them out and see what might work for you!
First is a simple chart for younger kids. You can download these for free from her site. There is an evening one as well!
You can find these at Abbie’s House Etsy shop. The boards are sold separate from the magnets, and the magnets can be customized as well.
Another option for the boards that would save you money is to buy cheap metal cookie sheets and paint and decorate however you would like. Click for instructions for painting metal cookie sheets. I think you could even repurpose rusty pans if you use the right paint!
If you are a REALLY crafty DIYer, you can make these cool clipboards. Even if you aren’t so crafty, I like her system and you could always make at your own level of creativity (my level is low and basic!)
If you aren’t crafty AT ALL, Amazon has a huge selection of chore charts. Some of my favorites are below:
The chore charts and systems above will work well with 1, 2 or 3 kids in the house. In a larger family, it becomes a little more difficult to juggle all the responsibilities, yet it is crucial that you do so to teach your kids to take responsibility for themselves and doing their part as a team.
Many parents like to use reward systems as well, and again these vary widely from family to family. My fellow Atlanta blogger and friend, Kat Roberson from I Heart 7, (this is an archived page but still has great info!) has 7 children, 5 who live with her full-time. Managing a house that full takes some work, and to become the manager of the work and not the DOer of all the work is so important.
Kat has put together a chore chart and system that teaches her kids not only how to take care of the house, but also that their attitude, behavior, and how they treat one another is important. Click here to get all the details on her system!
There are truly an unlimited number of ways you can use to help your children learn to do their chores.
Try out ones that appeal to you. Tweak them to your liking. If one doesn’t work, don’t give up! Try a different one. And I am sure that Kat will tell you that a system will need to change as your kids grow. What worked last year may need to be altered this year.
But it IS worth the effort. The outcome will be kids who are more responsible, who do what they are expected to, which in turn will lead to less stress for you!