Who Said Chores Means Scrubbing the Toilet?
I am a big advocate for giving kids chores. They help prepare kids for life outside the family. Chores help kids develop their skills and gives them a sense of responsibility. Chores are also important for helping our children feel valued in the family. They prove that each person is a much needing part of the whole fabric of the family. We need teamwork to make a family run harmoniously and that means involving children in its’ daily operations.
Too often children’s refusal to do chores is because they feel they are being treated as indentured servants, given lowly janitorial jobs that take no skill or decision making. Sure, we all have to suck it up and do the dishes and mop floors, but open your mind to more creative ways that kids can participate in helping and watch how enthusiastic they are about these types of jobs instead:
15 Alternative Chores
- Family Researcher – fulfill their love for computer time by giving them the task of research items/events that the family needs information on. This can include good family vacation destinations or places to purchase cheap hockey equipment.
- Meal Planner – this job belongs to the one who gets to take input from every family member on their favourite dishes and build a weekly meal planner for the family, ensuring everyone gets a favourite meal. A child can partner up with a parent if they need assistance.
- Grocery List Builder – This person is responsible for keeping a weekly tab on grocery items needed, including checking the pantry for restocking needs of paper towel, toilet paper, etc. This person needs to collaborate with the weekly meal planner to ensure needed items are on the list. My kids and I like sharing an app called Wunderlist to track items I need to pick up.
- Social Committee – manage the social calendar for the family ensuring there is time for family fun, and that each person has time for some personal time with friends and fitness.
- Plant attendant – this task involves keeping a tab on all living plants, indoor and outdoors and watering as required.
- Mail Collector and Sorter – the daily trip to the mailbox and sorting the bills and marketing materials into piles to make sure each person gets the information they need.
- Community News Advocate – this task belongs to someone old enough to skim through the local newspaper, making a list of important community events and sharing anything of importance with the rest of the family at a weekly family meeting.
- Medical coordinator – checking the calendar and keeping tabs on medical appointments coming up for the family. Annual physicals, eye appointments and dentist appointments shouldn’t fall through the cracks when this person is on the job!
- Donations Coordinator – responsible for making sure that each month, things that are no longer wanted or needed within the home find their way to the appropriate organization that can recycle and repurpose the items
- Environmental Advocate – taking the time on a weekly basis to ensure garbage outside around your home is picked up and put in the garbage where it belongs.
- Organization Specialist – this person is responsible for keeping on top of junk drawers, bathroom vanity drawers and all the little nooks and cranny’s where junk builds up. If you have someone in your family who loves to straighten and organize, this is the task for them.
- Birthday Manager – if you have a lot of birthdays in your family, this task ensures that an aunt or cousin’s birthday doesn’t go unnoticed. Whether this is done through home made cards that get mailed out or a list of birthday calls and texts that need to be sent, assigning this task will make sure nobody gets missed.
- Food and Health Authority – are you constantly checking sauces and potions to make sure things are not being used past their best before date? Assign this role to a responsible member of your family who can do a regular check of salad dressings and cold medicine to make sure you aren’t stocking expired products
- “Do life differently” Coordinator – Do you ever notice how months can come and go and we tend to repeat the same meals, board games, nature walk paths? Assign this to your creative thinker who can come up with ideas to try something new. It might be a brand new recipe, interview friends to find out about new board games or family fun activities. You just might end up spending a Sunday building and flying a kite you made as a family or trying Oysters for the first time.
- Family Meeting Chair – You had to know this was coming! Responsible for maintaining the meeting minutes and scheduling the family meetings