I know that keeping up with the household mess is a struggle for every family and mine is no exception.  Our kids are getting old enough now that they really can help out, but often my husband and I will do the chores ourselves to avoid hearing the whining.  Motivating myself to clean is hard enough without having to motivate (beg, nag, threaten) others as well.  Yet, I know that it is my motherly duty to train these little people to be contributing members of a family and to go about every task with the goal of a job well done regardless of the drudgery.  So a couple weeks ago God laid upon my heart a new game, “Check-Off Chores.”

In Round one of “Check-Off Chores” we chose one room to tackle.  I make a very specific list of little things that need to be done in that room, for example:  Put away train tracks, Pick up baby toys, Empty trash can.  We read through the list and each person gets to pick the one task that they want to do for that round.  We put our initials by that chore and then in huddle-style we stack our hands and shout, “Check-Off Chores!”  Then we each get to work.  As people finish their jobs we inspect each other’s performance and when all the jobs for that round are complete we celebrate by crossing the jobs off of the list and getting some sort of treat: a coin for our piggy banks, a couple chocolate chips, or a sticker.  We return to the list to choose our chores for Round two, shout “Check-Off Chores!” again, and the rounds continue until that room is complete.  Then we reward ourselves with a 10 minute free play break.

I was amazed at how well this little game went over with my kids.  I think that, just like me, they get overwhelmed with a messy room and so breaking down the tasks into smaller jobs made the big job seem doable.  I think it also helped that I was working right alongside them.  However, I know for sure that the part that made the most difference was my attitude of having fun even while doing chores.  Shouting “Check-Off Chores!” sounds really lame, but the silliness of it puts a smile on your face then a smile makes you feel better about what you’re doing!  And especially with kids, smiling is contagious!

“The light of the eyes rejoices the hearts of others.” Proverbs 15:30a (AMP)

Praise God!