Before I come down hard on my kids, I first recall things they’ve done right. I try to mete out the same standard to myself. So when the kids were young, I made chore charts, taught them how to clean, and made them do it. I’ve never been the kind of parent that gives up easily and does the chores myself. I’m pretty mean determined that way. If I had done that, I knew it would’ve come with a great cost when they were grown. They would not be able to take care of themselves, but who wants to roommate with a slob. So at the cost of having a house cleaned exactly to my standards, I’ve always known the importance of my sons learning to clean. With that being said, recently I had become relaxed in coming up with a new system to fit our changing circumstances. And it’s been my fault that my homeschooled kids don’t do chores.
Quit Making this Common Mistake
Recently, I had to step up and change things in my home because it was much easier to have the kids clean while they were little. Now that they are older they have a full academic and work load. I’m still learning and changing as we go through the seasons of homeschool.
And what is ironic is that my kids have never rebelled or have a bad attitude for chores. Like me, they too simply got caught up in a new schedule.
My older two sons take business courses, are working an apprenticeship and have an active social life as young adults. I’m still homeschooling my younger son and this makes for a very hectic and different household.
Recently, I was wondering why I felt like dropping dead after mopping the floor. Before that I had wiped the baseboards and scrubbed the shower. All of those are chores my sons have no problem doing. They put on their headsets for music and happily do their chores.
But knowing that all of my sons are well past chore charts, I had to have a family meeting. Yes, that is what we call it now.
From that meeting, I learned three things that I hope can help you if you find yourself in a situation where your circumstances seem to change overnight and you may not have adjusted.
ONE/ I will always have to accept a kid-friendly cleaned house.
When the kids were young, I dreamed of times like now when the boys are older and are vibrant with energy because I knew the house would be cleaned to my standards.
Nope, it’s still not like that.
Although it is much cleaner, my boys are inexperienced in a relative sense – my sense. In other words, now, I’m the only that can tell if it was cleaned to my standards.
It’s the same feeling you have if somebody else came in and cleaned your home. It will never be you and you’re grateful that you don’t have to do it all yourself; if you’re a perfectionist, like I tend to be, you learn humility.
I’m grateful for still being trained in my thinking when I accept their methods of cleaning. Too, I do get surprised by the short cuts my sons teach me.
TWO/ I’ve learned to give up control for when my house will get clean. Try that on for a control freak like me.
Another thing I’ve had to learn is to accept when my sons can do their part on their schedule. Like I said, when they were little, it was much easier to plan my cleaning schedule although I didn’t think that at the time.
Now, no matter what I tout when I want things done, that is not reality. It won’t happen IF I want my sons to pursue their academic life after graduating.
With school, apprenticeship, volunteering and working, their chores at my home, like most young adults, have to bend to their schedule, not mine.
I miss those days when I could decide which days we did our housework and assign their chores on sweet little chore charts.
THREE/ Chores have not last their value in character building even with young adults.
Mostly what I value, though, is that now that two of my sons are taller than me and it’s starting to look like I live with all grown men in my home, chores reinforce willpower.
Doing things each day or each week that require routine is what adult life is all about. Most of adult life is about routine and it reinforces responsibility. It is a daily test of strength of character.
When my oldest two sons were teens they tried to undermine the value of their chores like taking out the trash, stacking the dishwasher, or doing their laundry. What I mean is that when it was accompanied by a lot of back talking and complaining, I was resolute about it being done and with a great attitude.
Repeatedly, I explained to the boys that their contribution to our family is like making an investment in themselves and will serve them a lifetime. Also, I continually reminded them that as adults we are tired too, but when chores are done willfully and happily it contributes to less stress in the home.
I’m so glad I didn’t let them view their chores as menial.
The Zen of a Well-Kept House
Dealing with pressures as teens, even the everyday seemingly mundane things, has now built great strength of character in my sons. What more could I ask of my sons.
Yes, it was my fault that I didn’t have a family meeting earlier, but I learned that if life gets hectic there is always time to make another set of plans.
Homeschooling is ever changing. Besides the kids want to help and they too need reminders about pitching in at the home.
Also look these articles and tips. Inspiring Your Homeschooled Kids to Do Chores – Cleaning or Character Building, 11 Tried and True Ways to Tame the Home When You Homeschool and 100 Ways to Organize Kids.
Hugs and love ya,
Don’t forget to follow BOTH of my Pinterest accounts for AWESOME pins.