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 Articles for Newsletters and Web site content

Who's turn for the dishes?

by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

Whether it’s the kids arguing about it, adults nagging about it or an unspoken conflict between the adults, many families have battles with getting the dishes done.

Or doing the vacuuming. Or cleaning the bathroom. Or sorting the washing when it comes in. Or taking out the rubbish. Or many other household chores.

The bottom line is that these jobs need to be done, and sooner is often better as they seem to grow when left for a time! It certainly doesn’t seem fair that one or two people do all these tasks when there are others capable of helping, but how can you get everyone to pull their weight? Especially without world war three each time you ask?

Obviously, very young children can’t do an equal share of the household jobs, but you’d be surprised at how much they can do. Even before they’re two, toddlers can take the cutlery to the table and spread it out – sure, it won’t be set out with knife on the right and so on, but it will be enough. And toddlers LOVE to help.

Children who start doing chores very early develop a sense of contributing and really belonging to the family; doing things for people we love is an important relationship builder. It also means that there is less fuss as they get older as they know everyone has to help out – there will still be some fuss as kids will be kids!

If you intend to give children pocket money, it is best to make them earn it from the start. If you give them pocket money without tasks for earning it, and then later say “no pocket money this week unless you do the vacuuming”, it will be a hard adjustment for all concerned.

Not everyone likes the ideas of rosters and timetables as they seem too formal and restricting, however they can be very helpful and create more free time for all concerned. Consider a family of four where all are able to do some basic jobs that no one really likes to do. How often do you think they argue or bicker about getting jobs like the dishes done? How likely is it that one or two people do most of the work and the begging for help?

However, if a roster is set up with the four least wanted jobs, each person only has to do the job for one week out of the month. Cleaning the bathroom one week a month is better than having that as your regular job every week! Having a clearly defined roster makes it easier for all to take responsibility for their own tasks and no one has to nag for jobs to be done!

By working together and compromising, families can keep the house clean and running well and still have time for other activities. And avoid many of the arguments that upset family life!


Tash Hughes is the owner of Word Constructions and is available to solve all your business writing problems! From letters to policies, newsletters to web content, Word Constructions writes all business documents to your style and satisfaction.









© 2004, Tash Hughes

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