I’ve been asked to share my new household task system designed to get my (reluctant) children involved in housework. It’s been brewing for a while now, but it’s taken time to come up with something that ticks all of my boxes and feels right for us. You are very welcome to use my plan, or tweak it to suit your family / household. For this reason I’ve provided a copy of our task list and also a blank template that you can customise.
Below I’ve outlined how I came up with the idea and my reasoning behind each aspect. You may or may not agree, it might be right for your family, it might not. We are all different, but perhaps it will inspire you to build your own system that is just right for your own set up.
It’s lonely doing it all by myself!
It get’s pretty lonely being stuck in the kitchen washing up / clearing up, hanging out washing etc alone…. most of the time.
Not to mention frustrating that I now don’t know whose knickers are whose, and no one was willing to help me sort them.
I was feeling annoyed that my ongoing household drudgery was keeping me from spending quality time with my children… in fact I’d often say to them “If someone would just help me… I’d be able to do x with you before bed… ” Sadly, this did not have the desired effect.
Money can’t buy you love
My eldest had recently asked if she could earn some pocket money by doing jobs for me. I have to admit, the way I was feeling, this was a tempting proposal.
Tempting as paying her to do the tasks might have been, I’m stubborn, and a bit old fashioned too. I don’t want my children ONLY helping me if I affix a payment to it!
My dream is to have a family camaraderie, for us to be a team, for them to appreciate what I do, and for me to be able to show my appreciation to them for their help and support.
So, I knew what I didn’t want, I also know what they wouldn’t want too!
A long list of rules and an arduous rota to follow, chase and manage was not looking appealing to me or them.
So I really had to get my thinking cap on.
Whilst I really did not want my household helpers system to be all about payment, I did think that pocket money in some form could be tied in somehow if cleverly worked out.
Firstly, I established how much pocket money I’d be prepared to give my children and I settled on £5 each per week. However, I still want them to value money and understand the concept of working for it, so this money would need to be earned, but not before we’ve worked together as a team with no recompense but good feelings and camaraderie.
Part of a family team
I’d love for us to feel more like a team, and for them to enjoy the camaraderie that I know comes with working together. I also hope that my children will learn some life skills from this. Even if my system doesn’t stand the test of time, for the period that it does last, I hope to be able to teach my children how to do a variety of household tasks independently … and properly!
New house – new rules
We’ve just moved house, and returned from holiday, so I feel that this is the perfect time to implement new systems. It’s an excellent time to start new habits, and to naturally teach the children where things go, and how I run the household. They each have their own print out and refer to it daily.
How it works
There are two basic rules:
- Five family tasks must be completed each week
- No moaning or arguing over any tasks
There are two categories of tasks; Family tasks (unpaid, general daily tasks – always need doing!) Paid tasks (mainly weekly tasks, things they might not do already, but could learn to do independently, and most importantly – these are things I don’t really want to do myself)!
The paid tasks have different weightings, some are worth £1, some £2, some £4 etc. My children have been told that they can earn up to £5 per week with a combination of tasks. They could do a £4 and a £1 task, or 5 £1 tasks.
We have a blackboard tally chart in my kitchen that we keep a record on of how many family tasks have been completed, and how much is owed for that week on paid tasks.
You are very welcome to download and use my system here
Here is the blank version if you’d like to customise it.
This system is still very much in it’s infancy. We are just a couple of weeks in and I can see some tweaks I’d like to make, and some rules I need to establish with my girls – who are experts at seeking and testing out loopholes in the system! I’d love to hear your thoughts / feedback on my idea so far!