Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spirit of the Family: Learning to Work Together

I often receive comments from friends and visitors that the Little Blue Bungalow is always so "clean and organized". (Thank you...that is so kind.) Yes, for the most part we aim to keep the house in an orderly fashion, but I admit we too have our days of household craziness. So how do we maintain a somewhat clean and orderly house 365 days of the year?

There are several keys to maintaining a home and the main one, I feel, is having it be every one's responsibility...NOT just Mom. (OK...I hear several Mom's in the audience applauding here.) Not only does that mean enlisting the help of my amazing husband, but our children too.

Kids can be taught a variety of skills and aid in household chores if they are taught and given direction. Too often parents (in regards to household chores) believe that children will "mess it up" or take longer to complete the task, but this is how a child learns. I believe it is our responsibility as parents to train our children for the duties of life...taking the garbage out, weeding the gardens, washing the dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, dusting, etc in order to function as an adult later in society.

Having everyone in the family share "the load" of the household duties including the kids is just "a way of life" here at the Little Blue Bungalow. For instance, Fiona at a ripe age of four has mastered a number of household duties including: washing the dishes, cleaning toilets (and folks she is particular!), sorting laundry, dusting, and vacuuming. Mr. Keegan, age 2, helps out by matching socks, loading/unloading the dishwasher, loading/unloading the washing machine, throwing recycling away, and dusting.

I know many families utilize charts to reward their children for the chores they complete, but we have none. We believe being a part of this family means everyone has a job to do. This includes working together on family projects whether it be weeding the garden or cleaning the bathroom. No sticker or quarter earned...just the satisfaction of belonging to a family, our family.

From inside the little blue bungalow,
Katie Jean

Writer's Note: Another important key in maintaining an orderly home is to eliminate the clutter and excess of life which I hope to address in a later post. If you'd like me address a particular topic or have questions about our family, gardens, faith, etc. feel free to ask and I'll try and answer. KJ

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Anisa @ the Schell Urban Homestead said...

I love the way you think about things... I too believe that in a family, every one helps out and has a part to do. We're not into allowance or rewards for being a part of the family.

I am a fan of chore charts and to-do lists. Not as a way to get a reward (I pretty much use them for myself, but can see using them for the kids when they get older). I use them as a way for me to keep myself on task, and not forget something (how many days ago DID I clean the toilet??)! LOL

Anna said...

That is how I was raised too. In fact, my parents always seemed to make chores fun. I still look back on my childhood in awe that they made raking leaves and cleaning fun. =) I agree that it is everyone in the family's responsibility. Kids can be taught and should be taught those important life skills (and we didn't get stickers either). Great post!!