The Mindful Children’s Household Chores Chart
What if there was a way of getting your children to do chores AND get the benefits of mindfulness at the same time?! Well there is, and the younger you start them, the more benefits you will see from an early age. ‘Chores’ isn’t a word I like to use because it makes kids faces scrunch up! I prefer to explain them as ‘family responsibilities’ or ‘tasks’, and instill a sense of pride and duty where all members are playing their part. This is where Mindfulness comes in.
Learning to do a simple, but important, daily task with focus and intention resonates throughout our lives. Teaching children to focus and do a task, to the best of their ability from a young age, is a positive lesson to learn. Teaching them to appreciate responsibility, and succeed in simple daily tasks early on, instills a sense of duty and pride throughout life. As they get old enough, explain that stuff need to be organised so that you can find it quickly when you need it. Explain that the house needs to be clean so the dirt doesn’t make you ill or attract rodents or bugs. And teach them to respect the ‘things’ in the house (clothes, furniture, utensils) that someone has lovingly bought to make their lives comfortable and cared for.
‘Family responsibilities’ should be done in silence so that children learn to focus and do tasks them properly. After all, the quicker it gets done, the quicker it’s over! And any task, however menial, should be done to the best of our ability, and with pride. For younger children, chores not be long or drawn out, but short ‘task meditations’, where in 1 – 3 minutes they have successfully completed their responsibility in silent focus. And try NOT to reward children with treats, creating bad habits for the future and a conditioned response leading to disappointment in later life (no one gives ME a cookie each time I wash the dishes, and my life would me very depressing if I was expecting a reward each time I fulfilled my responsibilities!) Instead, you should give each other a heart felt ‘thank you’ and a hug, for the part you each play in making your house, your home.