How to Get Your Kids to Willingly Pitch in With Chores

I’ve been mulling over this question for awhile, wanting to answer, but afraid to say the wrong thing. And then last week I told you that while I may not have the perfect answers, I’m going to do my best to help, to encourage, and to inspire.

I promised to stop backing away from the hard stuff.

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So here we go.

“I am a stay at home mom and I do understand that it’s my job to take care of the home. However, am I wrong to say that it’s the entire household’s job also to keep the house standing? I just feel as if I get taken for granted. How do I change this? Can I change this? I can’t keep the house going on my own.

“How do I get everyone to realize that I just did the dishes and the respectful thing to do is to clean your dish so the sink is once again clean? That way one dish doesn’t lead to another then another and another… next I have a sink full of dirty dishes once again.

“Your blog has given me some faith that maybe you could help!” – Danielle

Danielle, thank you for your kind words and for your patience in waiting for an answer! I’m not responding to this question as the queen-of-having-perfect-little-helpers. Not at all.  I’m answering your question more as an “I’m right there with you!”

Throughout my nearly ten years of motherhood, I’ve worked part time in an office, worked from home, stayed home completely, and am currently working full time outside the home. Switching gears so many times has taught me that while the dynamics of who does the most housework may change from season to season, the underlying issue is this:

We are training our children for adulthood.

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The answer to your question isn’t the perfect chore chart or some sort of amazing super-secret method. In fact, the answer isn’t really an answer at all – it’s simply more questions:

Are you speaking to your children’s hearts? Are you taking the time to teach them why taking care of a home is important? When the sink is full of dirty dishes, what is your response? Are you frustrated while you wash them yourself or are you using that opportunity to gently call your children in so you can work on the dishes together? Are you teaching them that they’re blessed to even have dishes?

Yes, we are to be good stewards of our possessions. And yes, stay-at-home moms should generally be doing a larger portion of the housework than a woman who works full-time outside the home. But the hard truth is that if we feel like we’re being taken for granted, it’s a sign we’re bearing too much of the load on our own.

Training takes time. It’s hard, discouraging, and repetitive work. But eventually, the training sinks in. It pays off. And though it may not feel like it right now, your children will eventually notice. And it may happen sooner than you think.

Proverbs 31:27-29 “[The virtuous woman] looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.”

What encouragement and kind advice do you have for Danielle as she works to help her children develop good housekeeping habits?


3 Simple Housekeeping Tips to Inspire Busy Parents

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After I unburied myself from my messes, I promised that I’d help others dig out from under their clutter, too. But sometimes that’s hard. Because clutter isn’t always just about a messy room.

Clutter is often a symptom of something much deeper. Childhood loss, financial strain, deeply-ingrained habits, depression, chronic illness, and marital stress are all circumstances that lead to clutter.

So a few months ago, I turned away. I stopped digging into the difficult topics because they hurt. My heart ached for the women who cried out to me in letters, asking for help. I gave quick, peppy answers and ignored the deeper cries because that was easier.

I’m sorry. And no more.

I may not have the perfect answers, but I’m going to do my best to help, to encourage, and to inspire. We tend to hold on to things while trying to fill holes deep within our hearts. But no heart is too wounded to be encouraged, no home is too far gone to make progress, and no success is too small to celebrate.

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Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble.” Romans 12:15-116 (NKJV)

Sometimes, life is hard. Change hurts. But after the hard, after the hurt, is something beautiful. And I’m ready to be right here, talking about the hard stuff and cheering you on.

Today’s hard question is from Danielle.

   “I’ve led such an unorganized life that I have no idea where to start. I tend to bounce from room to room because I get overwhelmed! I’m almost at the point of a panic attack! I suffer from depression which hasn’t helped, but I want to overcome it. I don’t want something to take such control of my life that I’m consumed by self loathing and sadness.” – Danielle

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Danielle, I am so sorry that you suffer from anxiety and depression.

When depression becomes deep, just getting out of bed in the morning is a huge ordeal and housekeeping can feel nearly impossible.

I recommend reading Conquering Depression: A 30-Day Plan to Finding Happiness by Mark A. Sutton and Bruce Hennigan. This book goes through a month-long study on depression, with tips and strategies to conquering the depression. {The Kindle version is on sale for $0.99 right now!}

 

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Conquering Depression covers topics such as things you can do to relieve depression on your own, when to find outside help, and what to do when there is a chemical imbalance. Each chapter is short and to the point, so the book only takes a few minutes to get through each day, and offers hope from day one.

When you start feeling depressed, talk to your spouse or a friend, or seek help from a counselor in addition to reading through a helpful book.

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To help you receive encouragement when you’re feeling overwhelmed, I invited you to join the secret Facebook group.

Plus, here are a few quick tips about handling overwhelmed feelings:

1) Only focus on one room.

You may choose the room that bothers you the most, the room that’s the easiest to clean, the area company first sees when they arrive, or any other room you’d like. The room itself doesn’t matter nearly as much as just starting somewhere and giving yourself a success!

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2) Just do something.

You may not have time to clean your entire kitchen, but you could unload and reload the dishwasher. If you can’t organize your entire dresser, you can declutter one drawer. It doesn’t seem like much, but all of these little minutes help add up to make a huge impact!

3) Give yourself grace.

It’s easy to feel discouraged when we’re not making progress as quickly as we’d like. But we can give in to those discouraged, paralyzing feelings or we can push through and refuse to give up!

I hope this helps you, Danielle! You also asked some great questions about who should be doing the housework. I talked about that a little bit here and I plan to address your specific questions in my next article.

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What tips or encouragement would you like to share with Danielle for when she’s feeling overwhelmed or anxious?

{To submit your own questions, go here.}

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Voting!!! Get Organized Challenge Feburary 2015

I’m so excited to show you some amazing transformations this month! These ladies have worked hard to make their homes become inviting spaces and they all did a fantastic job. Vote for your favorite! The $100 prize is generously sponsored by Grape Vine Studies.

{Polls will be open until Monday, February 9th at 11:59PM EST.}

Transformation #1 – Lara from Oklahoma

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Transformation #2 – Jen from Wisconsin

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Transformation #3 – Jeni from Minnesota

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Transformation #4 – Jenny

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You Could Get Paid $100 to Clean Your House!

I am SO excited to offer an incredible cleaning award, just for doing what you already do! Here are the fabulous details…

How to get paid to clean your house - this is AMAZING! I can't wait to enter this $100 giveaway, just for sharing a before & after photo of my space!

GrapeVine Studies is generously offering a $100 gift card to the reader who submits photos of the most improved space this month!

I love that GrapeVine is a company who truly cares about people and I have been absolutely blown away by their customer service! They have gone above and beyond to work with me, answer my questions, offer assistance, and basically be an online friend.

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Entry Details:

To enter the contest, simply email a before & after photo of your space to me at GetOrganized@DavonneParks.com! The area you submit can be large, such as an entire room, or it can be small like a closet or cabinet.

In your email, please include:

  • Before & after photos of ONE space – a simple photo collage is appreciated but not necessary.
  • Your first name.
  • Your state of residence.

Please note that by submitting your photos and information, you’re giving me permission to share your photos, first name, and state of residence for the contest. Only submit your own photos of a space you have personally decluttered.

The deadline to submit photos for this contest is Saturday, January 31st at 11:59PM EST.

Voting & Winner Details:

A poll will be open from February 2nd – 9th so readers can vote for what they think is the best before & after space!

The person who receives the most votes will win a $100 gift card to Grape Vine Studies! This could be a perfect way to bless your family, a friend, or even a local church or homeschool group with a wonderful Bible curriculum – I especially love how comprehensive the Bible Bundle looks! You can view GrapeVine’s FREE sample lessons here.

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