Weekly Message: 12/15/2017

Greetings Marvista Families!

As we move into winter break here, your children will likely be spending a lot more time at home, and so naturally I thought I would share some thoughts with you around chores. Besides making parents’ lives easier, more importantly chores set up right can help lay the foundation upon which responsibility and self-esteem are built.

Tip 1: Enjoy doing work together. Children love to model their parents, especially when they are young, and so when you show enjoyment in doing jobs around the house, they will likely follow suit. Include your children in chores, even if they aren’t really “helping” so much. It’s more important to develop positive attitudes about work than getting it done perfectly and quickly.

Tip 2: Base chores on the maturity of your child. Through the Kindergarten years, your child isn’t a big help really with most tasks, and so it is more about you working with the child and modeling. They may be expected to clean up messes they have made. By third grade most children can take care of the dishes and clean a few of the family rooms once/week. Taking out the trash, cleaning dirty window, those sorts of things.

Tip 3: Use consequences without anger. You can bet that jobs will continue to be done poorly if you convey more emotion about jobs done poorly than jobs done well. Give more emotion to when they do well! Smile and give them a high five!However, I don’t suggest tying allowances to chores, because this isn’t the way the real world works. You don’t get paid for cleaning your home or fixing dinner, it is just a part of what is expected to be in the family.A common consequence that has worked well for many families is connected to the rule that everyone finishes their chores before the next meal. You can tell your child, “no rush! Take your time, and you can eat as soon as it is done and done well.” This is a much closer consequence to the real world, because “if the eggs aren’t gathered, nobody has breakfast.”

I hope this was helpful, have a blessed winter break!
-Andrew Ritsema
School Counselor