06 January 2012

Everybody Gets a Job

"No one is too small to help."  That is a new quote by yours truly...at least, I think it is because it's something I just made up but I truly believe this.  We have been giving Julia jobs around the home since she was an itty bitty thing, and let's face it, the poor kid grew up well before her years since her newborn brother was only 17 months behind her...so at 1 1/2 she was already helping mommy put things in the hamper, or the washing machine, she would find diapers for Mark for me, she was always a big help.

I think if you start young and you instill that "Everybody gets a job," it's just a way of life and no big deal.  After all, most of us will never have a maid or cook so it is a wise thing to teach our children to clean up after themselves and take partnership in the home.

And notice how I say, gets a job, you get to have a job, you get to be part of the family and you get to contribute to the daily going ons in the home.

It's exciting to kids to get to help and get to have a job.  Grumbling, complaining, and whining are not acceptable in this home.  We have a positive attitude about work.  It starts with mommy and daddy.  We practice saying things like, "Daddy gets to go to work to provide for us."  "Mommy gets to stay home and be with  you all day."  Many Dads are not fortunate to have jobs, many moms would love to stay at home full time but can't afford to, so the fact that we get to is a blessing.

John and I sat down right before the New Year with the kids and we discussed what jobs they would get to do around the house this year.  Oh, the excitement.  We brainstormed together for a few minutes and then we wrote the ideas and jobs down and we taped them to the laundry room door.

And guess what?  After the lists were made, Mark suggested I "draw a picture mommy" next to each thing I wrote down, (poor kid can't read yet and really wanted to SEE what he was responsible for)...too bad mommy's not such a good artist...we will have to ask Grandma Donna and Grandpa Greg to help us next time they are over.  Isn't that neat that he came up with that idea?  I mean I was impressed!

So each child got 4 jobs on their list (and you better believe Julia reminds me every day about her jobs!) and quite honestly the kids do way more than is listed simply because being a help always should be the attitude in the home, shouldn't it?  If John needs me to do something, I drop what I'm doing and help and vice versa.  I think if parents model this for their kids, the example really helps.  We enjoy helping each other because we get to serve our loved ones, and isn't that what being a family is all about?

I came up with the number 4 since Julia is now 4, and because Mark is so easy going and can handle 4 things.  But whatever works best in your part of the world is what's best for your family, only you can decide that.

Julia Gets to:

1. clean up the toys in her room
2. put dirty clothes in the hamper
3. set the table at breakfast and dinner
4. (and her favorite) feed the puppy Paris

Mark Gets to

1. clean up his toys in his room
2. put dirty clothes in his hamper
3. help Julia set the table
4. helping empty the little garbages into the big garbage in kitchen on Wednesday and Sunday

My favorite part about delegating the jobs (besides writing the list...come on, you know I LOVE lists) was when we all sat down to brainstorm and we talked about each room in our home and how we could keep it clean.  I loved hearing Julia's ideas about how she could help.  What a sweetie!  Brainstorming with  your kids is PRICELESS.  They will remember those moments forever because you didn't just tell them what their chores were, you invited them into the process of family life.  Communication and teaching your child how to think is SO important.  I love being able to do this with my kids, truly, it's a blessing and it CAN BE fun if you take the time to plan it out and do it.  I promise.

Have a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy each other!



  1. What a great idea! I would love to repost ... and I will definitely be sharing this idea with parents I work with! I'm visiting for the first time ... from my first time on the Mingle With Us Blog Hop! So glad I did!


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