The Importance of Chores

Busy Mom’s Survival Guide Podcast Episode 018.
I want to raise children that have a strong work ethic.  I think laziness is so destructive to our personal success, especially when it comes to our careers and our relationships.  It takes hard work to succeed in both those areas.

Greyden Washing Dishes

I use chores to build a strong work ethic into my children.  It isn’t always easy.  Raising children who do their chores regularly and with a cheerful attitude takes a LOT of work on my part.  I have to dedicate a portion of my day to inspecting their chores and training them on how to do their chores efficiently.

Even though I could do the chores faster (and better) than my children, I don’t (often) succumb to the temptation to do everything myself.  I put in the effort when the children are young, so that later on I am rewarded with children who are incredibly capable.

During this podcast I discuss how chores work around the Jonas house and provide some suggestions for getting your children to do their chores.  Plus I talk about how I handle the complaining that inevitably comes when it is chore time.

Indigo also joins me on this episode and you’ll get to hear the adjective she chose to describe how she feels about her chores.

I hope you enjoy listening to the episode and learn something that can help with chore time at your house.  What about you?  Do you struggle with getting your children to do their chores?  What is the most hated chore in your household?

Thanks for listening!  Join me next week as I talk about restoring margin to your life.


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  • Monica

    I just had my husband listen to this chore podcast.  He loved it as much as I did!  Thank you for this.

    • goatmilkstuff

      I’m so glad!! 🙂


  • Monicanofi

    PJ, as we are trying to decide what our boys’ chores will be, I am running into something that I find very conflicting for me. Is it appropriate to give one child the task of cleaning up after the other when they’re should BOTH be working to stay tidy? As an example….if I give the 4 year old the job of keeping their shared room clean, then that means my 6 year old can leave his dirty clothes on the floor, knowing that someone else will pick them up. And, if I give my older boy the family room to keep clean, that gives my younger one the ability to leave his toys out. And, if we make them put their toys/clothes away then they’re sharing the chore and it doesn’t belong to either of them. It is one thing to give a child a chore to clean up after others when the others need to make the mess (like dishes after dinner). It is another to make them clean up after the other when they should each be cleaning up after themselves. What do you think? How do you handle this? Thanks!

    • goatmilkstuff

      You bring up a good point.  The way we handle it is this:

      We have our house rules.  One of those rules is “Touch it once”.  Part of “touch it once” is that when you are done with something, you put it away where it goes the first time.  Without being asked and without putting it down and forgetting about it.  Under this house rule is where the children are taught to clean up after themselves.

      With the children’s chores and their zones, they are taught that for their whole lives, they are going to be interacting with people who do not do what they are supposed to do.  Yes, their brother should have “touched it once” and put it away, but he didn’t.  It is still your responsibility to clean up your zone whether or not your brother left his stuff in it.  We point out to them that when they are grown they will be dealing with coworkers, employees, spouses, and children who don’t always do the right thing.  But they have to do the right thing even if nobody else does.  And if they are a part of the team, it is very unlikely that everybody will do their part, but they still have to do all that they can do.

      For an example, in our house, everyone is supposed to clean off their spot after dinner and Fletcher is responsible for the dining room.  Fletcher has to clear it all off (with a good attitude) even if some people forgot to clear of their plates.  The people who forgot to touch it once then have consequences for not touching it once (in our house that means they have to put away 25 things).

      I don’t know if I explained that clearly.   But that’s how we handle it.  There is definite overlap and I concentrate on the one that needs the discipline the most.  So if somebody has gotten really lazy about touching it once, I’ll make them clean up their stuff before the other child has to clean up that zone.  If somebody is complaining regularly about cleaning their zone, I don’t remind the other child to “touch it once”.

      Hope that helps!