Many of my clients have trouble getting their kids involved in organizing and cleaning the home. By the time I come into the picture, moms are exhausted and worn down. Beth was one such mom. Here’s the simple technique that I suggested for her:
Make a list of chores that can be completed daily, weekly, or monthly. Write each chore on an index card, fold the cards in half, and place them in a fish bowl. Now make some cards with fun rewards on them, such as more time on the computer, special candy, or even "No Chores Today!" Fold these and place them in the fish bowl with the chore cards. Use the system daily, weekly, or as often as you need.
This system gives children an opportunity to have fun with chores, because they like knowing that there may be an exciting reward, and you don't have to deal with tantrums. You can replace old rewards with new ones, add different chores as the seasons change, or create new rules like "do-overs." (If your child isn't in the mood to do the selected chore, he or she can choose another.) The possibilities are endless.
Beth contacted me today to let me know how it was going. She put this technique into play a few weeks ago, and she has been having a blast. She said that the first thing her kids want to do in the morning is pick from the fish bowl. Her son even asked to pick out an extra chore. He was willing to take the chance to pick a chore for an opportunity to get a reward!
This tells me that creativity goes a long way, especially when it comes to getting organized. Using creative techniques like this one can reduce the amount of time you spend organizing and cleaning your home. Creativity can take the boredom out of chores and make housework fun for kids.
Does anyone out there have other game ideas for getting kids organized? I'd love to hear them.
--Sara Bereika CPO, Neat Organizing
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