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Category: Family Capital

It Takes a Family

July 29, 2023

Summer is such a fun, adventure-filled time of year full of vacations, lazy time, and the freedom of unstructured days. It’s also a time where the opportunity to catch up on some projects as a family is more abundant. And for me, it’s a time to see where adjustments need to be made with how individuals in the family can perhaps step up a bit more in carrying the weight of running a household. 

To make this process simpler, I came across a great resource in the form of Maria Eckersly of meckmom.com and Creative Come Follow Me. One of the resources she offers is a unique job chart that is fully customizable and, of utmost importance, also offers ideas for including a “fun job” on the chart! 

The idea is that not only do you have assigned tasks for each individual, but they also have an assigned role that is appealing and more enjoyable. Now because Maria is absolutely brilliant, she also made these roles to help solve problems! For example, do you have trouble with kids fighting over who sits where in the car or at the dinner table? Well, include the roll of “Host” on your chart. Host has the final say for the week on who sits where. And since everyone has their turn in this role, it goes undisputed. Do you have battles over what kind of music you listen to in the car or throughout the day? “DJ” gets to decide for the week! At our house we added “Treat Boss” as we’ve tried to cut back on sweets during the week but want to enjoy a special something as a family on the weekends. Treat Boss decides what we will make. It also serves as a reward for those who have gotten themselves ready for bed each night without complaints. Another fun role is “Night Owl,” who stays up an extra 15 min each night. Do you have other struggles that might be flipped into an enjoyable role? 

Because our kids are younger, our family has chosen to include Mom and Dad (as a unit) on the chores aspect of the job rotation. This allows us to have a turn with each zone of the house and get it deep-cleaned at least once a month, which leads to another thing that has served us well: the color-coded list. 

Every zone has been broken down into smaller tasks and each task is assigned a color: red, yellow, or green. Each kid is given a color depending on their skill level. My 5-year-old is assigned green and the tasks are simple enough for him to manage with little instruction. Yes, this means that the zone is only partially cleaned that week, but it’s worth his learning and feeling of accomplishment at doing it. Yellow includes more tasks that our other two kids can handle, and red is a fully-cleaned room – “mom style,” as we like to call it. Top-to-bottom clean. 

As the kids grow, we adjust the jobs or have the kids graduate colors. We take a little time to walk them through the new task and assist every once in a while to help them improve that skill. It is so rewarding to see them learn life skills but also see them enjoying themselves a little bit.

I have always loved the saying that it takes a village to raise a child, and I also believe that it takes a family to run a home. Working unitedly allows for success, belonging, accomplishment, and satisfaction. I hope that these ideas have inspired you to find ways to insert enjoyment in work and help your children deepen that satisfaction.