Summer Speed Cleaning

Studio 5 contributor Maggie Stevens says 10 minute tasks are a fast, effective way to get kids to do their summer chores.

The 10 Minute Chore System:

Is your family fighting a lot over household chores? Is there a daily tug-of-war over laundry, vacuuming and picking up clutter? If nothing’s working, consider that humans aren’t instinctively good at such jobs. They need training. Your kids and spouse watching you do chores doesn’t count as “training”. Human beings do not learn the art of tidying or cleaning by osmosis. The human brain must be able to visualize the specifics of a certain task in order to complete it. Even a mundane chore, such as sweeping the kitchen requires a set of skills. Think about it. Sweeping involves breaking the floor into manageable squares, sweeping up little piles of dirt and making those little piles travel onto the dust pan. Teenagers don’t automatically know how to sweep a large room or organize a pile of junk. Small children don’t necessarily perceive how to put away toys. These tips can help you trail those brains:

*Break chores down into 10 minute tasks.

*Label tasks such as cleaning a sink, sweeping the kitchen or vacuuming one room as a 10-minute chore.

*Assign every family member one 10 minute chore each day.

*Put a detailed list on the refrigerator beside each person’s name.

*Do this until your spouse and kids see how teamwork adds up.

For example, four people working 10 minutes per day, tallies up to 20 hours per month.

While children can be sharp intellectually, they are not necessarily wise in matters of judgment and assessment. For instance, children can’t perceive how to sort dirty laundry. Coach them until they can easily put the reds, whites, darks and delicates into separate piles.

While the 10 minute chore system isn’t perfect, it is probably going to land you more assistance than you are getting now

To ask questions, join the discussion board, or schedule Maggie for a parenting workshop, visit
Parent Fix by Maggie Stevens

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