Welcome back to my second installment of Tuesday Tidbits from Tara! If you missed my first unsolicited nugget of wisdom, go here.
Today's tidbit is all about child labor. Simply put, if you have littles in your house, put them to work. Yes, I know it's quicker to do it yourself and the end result will be much more polished, but trust me: get over your OCD self already and make your life simpler! Kids can help around the house, they ought to serve others in the home (combat that entitlement attitude!), and the younger they are, the more they actually want to help out. So, train them early! The amount of time it takes to train my children to perform a task properly and oversee them until they actually function as I want them to is well worth the end result!
I always have a drawer within my kids' reach to store the kid-friendly dishes so they can help set the table or empty the dishwasher.
Sadly, I was unable to pack Sveta up and bring her with me to function as my right arm here in the U.S. Since I don't have the leisure of sweeping and mopping my floors as much as she did for me, I put the kids to work. I bought this broom and dustpan set for about $25 and one of them gets floor duty for the day.
We're never short on garbage. The night before trash is collected the following morning, I call them all to the kitchen, assign them a room, and they bring the can, dump it, replace the bag and return it. It takes about 5 minutes max.
Other chores my kids do regularly include stripping their beds, putting the new sheets on (bg needs help still, but the other two are now capable of doing this), cleaning their bathrooms (seriously, this took forever and a year for them to "get," but I'm glad we stuck with it since we have 4 bathrooms), sorting/folding/putting their own laundry away, rinsing and putting their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, dusting, some cooking, and cleaning the van. That's in addition to keeping toys picked up and making their beds daily.
Not only does this lighten my load some, but my kids are learning life skills so that when they leave the house, they are capable of performing these tasks. Transitioning into adulthood and all that entails is hard enough; I certainly don't want to inhibit their success by doing everything for them while they are growing up.
I'd love to hear about the ways you include your kids in the running of your household!