We all have chores to do around the home. Laundry, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning up toy after toy (after toy, after toy…), washing dishes, feeding the dog, wiping the counters, the list goes on. It is a beautiful thing to be diligent in keeping a home clean and tidy. “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace…” (1 Corinthians 14:33) and Proverbs tells us as women we are called to work with eager hands, set about our work vigorously with arms strong for our tasks, watch over the affairs of our household, and to prepare for our family before the day begins (Proverbs 31:13, 15, 17, 27).
We are also called to teach our children to be helpful, responsible members of the family. We are to show them the value of teamwork and help them achieve a sense of belonging in our homes. Encouraging our children to help keep the home in order is an excellent way to teach these things. When children help with chores, they see every family member is important in helping get the job done. When children are expected to clean up toys and help sweep the floor, they learn lessons of responsibility. Children feel like they belong when they know they are needed, valued, and are encouraged in their obedience and efforts.
Starting at a young age our children love to do the things we do – “Mama is brushing her teeth? Me too! Mama is sweeping the kitchen? Me too!” A great way to teach our kids using this natural desire of “me too” is through a chore chart. Start with things your children already enjoy helping with. Easy chores include cleaning up toys, dusting, sweeping, feeding the family pet, carrying laundry, and wiping up messes. Start by inviting your child to assist you in these daily chores, and take time to show and explain how to do the chore correctly. Give your child a chance to try it on his or her own – and when they are successful, celebrate!
In our family, we have our Chore Chart taped to the inside of the kitchen pantry. I used a large piece of poster board paper and a few fun, colorful markers. I wrote “Jeffrey’s Chore Chart” at the top, and listed all the different chores at the bottom (his include sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, emptying the trash, unloading the dishwasher, wiping windows, wiping up messes, laundry, feeding our dog, and picking up toys). Together we went to the store and picked out a few sheets of fun, silly stickers. Anytime Jeffrey completes one of his chores (independently or with help), we celebrate! I take a minute to get on his level and thank him for his help – I explain why it’s so important to be a helper in the family and try to show him his contribution to the order of our home is very valuable. We then go (he usually runs!) to the Chore Chart and pick a sticker to place on the chart wherever Jeffrey chooses. Yay, he did it! Having a physical, tangible way to mark the accomplishment of a task (placing a sticker on the chart) is very helpful for younger children in understanding the joy and feeling of success that comes with being obedient and completing chores.
As our children begin to do chores around the home they learn obedience, responsibility, and the value of teamwork. Together, with our eyes on Jesus and our hearts meditating on His Word, we are raising Kingdom Kids.