I used to get so pumped about weekends!
There’s time with family, people we to hang with, summer events, picnics at the park, S’mores over campfires, oh the possibilities!
Then, reality sets in.
I’d come home after a long week in the office and tell my wife how excited I was to do (whatever it was I was excited to do) that weekend.
Like clockwork, she would inevitably remind me how I promised to finish up the remodeling project in the kitchen, or pressure wash the fence for the party next weekend, or deep clean all the bathrooms, or patch the hole in the wall from whatever sporting event the kids were conducting in the house on Monday…
I’d be like, “Oh [long pause in disbelief]...yeah I forgot.”
Moments later I’d typically sink into a brief moment of self-pity, complain a little bit, and finally suck it up and mentally prepare for a weekend as our in-house handyman.
This was my typical mode of operation until I finally decided to do something change my “home-routine” ways.
There were so many things I’d rather be doing than chores at home. How about spending some quality time with the kiddos and NOT resort to plopping them in front of the TV to entertain them while I do housework?
Ideally, all chores get outsourced…done! Go have fun.
Yet, you may not be in a position to pay people to do the stuff you don’t like to do (cleaning toilets is #1 on my list).
So how do you spend quality time with your family and still get stuff done around the house?
Here are three ways to get your chores done, while spending time with your kids:
#1 Let Them Help with Projects
We have three children all under the age of 7. Letting them help with your home project is a great way to spend time with your kids.
When I was building a corner bench for our breakfast nook I was working with a lot of dangerous power tools.
The boys wanted to help so I took the time to figure out a way to get them involved. I started with letting them pull the trigger of my pneumatic nailer. I held the nailer, they pulled the trigger, and everyone had a blast!
After it was all put together we had holes to fill! I squirted a quarter-sized blob of wood filler on a paper plate for each of my boys and they served as the best hole fillers I could have asked for!
Did it take me a while to explain how to do it all? Sure.
Was it worth that quality time? Absolutely.
If your goal is to spend more time with your kids, home projects are an excellent opportunity to let them get them involved.
Just know that getting the kiddos involved takes not only creativity, but planning. Doing the job by yourself can be challenging enough. Putting together a plan utilize labor with an attention span of 30-seconds takes a little advanced thought!
Nevertheless, having them by your side is an investment in their growth.
No matter how small the role you give them, you’re teaching them a valuable skill. You’re showing your kids how much you value and respect them - so much you’re letting them into your adult world.
Armed with confidence, kids will be more equipped to take on tough projects of their own. It’s a total win-win, but it requires you put in the time (and the work) up-front.
#2 Let Them Own Their Chores
I love teaching my kids to do something new. When they’re focused and willing to help, there’s nothing better than watching my boys tackle a seemingly boring chore with new life and vigor!
When we have a bunch of chores to do around the house on the weekend, one of the easiest chores I’ve found to “outsource” to my boys is sweeping.
Sweeping requires a broom and a dustpan.
It’s the perfect task for a two little ones. When I ask my two boys to sweep up, I emphasize the importance of teamwork. One holds the dustpan, the other sweeps into it.
Another great chore for the little ones is cleaning windows. It’s hard to mess up windows and for some reason they love squirt bottles.
Setting a timer for 5 or 10-minutes helps my kids stick to the task at hand without constantly seeking approval for the great job they’re doing. When the timer goes off, it’s time to review their work (no sooner).
They take more pride in doing the chores we assign them because I make them take responsibility. I ask them if I can trust that they’ll do a good job – they own it!
#3 Make it a Game
My kids love contests. Setting timers is a good way to help keep them motivated and make a game out of their chores.
We’ve used timers to challenge our boys to pick up all their toys in record time. The key is to stay positive. The last thing anyone wants is unhealthy competition or fighting.
Prizes can be fun too. Prizes can be as simple as a Popsicle, a free cookie at the grocery store, or a sticker.
One of my favorite prizes is to reward my boys with special 1-on-1 time.
Taking the time to plan 1-on-1 activities with my kids is a relatively regular ritual in the Snappy house, but when applying it to chore games, I step it up.
I go for those 1-on-1 things they’ve been asking to do (laser tag, arcade, mini-golf, whatever it may be).
Again, will it take more time to get your kids involved and make up a game? Absolutely!
Is it totally worth it? More than absolutely!
Don’t just aimlessly do your weekend and get things done that don’t matter to you or your family in long-term.
When you’re being productive on purpose, you’re making memories and investing in your family, not to mention yourself!
That’s what it’s all about.
Just like work, be deliberate with your time and make a plan - it’ll save time and energy, and the family will thank you for a life full of putting the mundane to shame!
How have you involved your kids with chores?
Please leave a comment and let us know.