My children have never had chores. We have never had charts hanging on our fridge with certain household tasks for them to take care of with stickers as rewards.
Yet... Devin, Tiff, Ivy and Orion all help with the housework, because they want to.
How is this possible?
For one, when I clean and do the little tasks that I find necessary to keep our house organized throughout the day, I do so *Joyfully*. I never slam things around or get frustrated that toys are on the floor, or dishes are in the sink. I don't huff and puff and talk under my breath about being everyone's "slave". Who would want to help if I was obviously hating when I cleaned?
I truly feel *Gratitude* in my heart every time I clean or pick something up because I feel such love and happiness for having my family and for all that comes with having children. I see the little scraps of paper on the floor, or books strewn about and see the story behind them. I see the craft project that Ivy did, or the books that I read to Tiff and how much she loved them. I pick up or clean whatever needs to be done in the moment, unconditionally. I bask in the gratitude of our life together without feeling that they are responsible for the "messes" they make.
I value my relationship and connection with my children over the cleanliness of our home.
I think many times parents can think they have no choice but to coerce, reward or force children to do chores to instill "responsibility". I feel very differently about this. I feel that my children will naturally be responsible for what they feel a partnership in. Our home is their nest. It is a place that they feel is theirs as much as it is mine. They love their home. They see cleaning as just something to do that makes sense.
Last night the kids were all cleaning until almost midnight. Ivy and Orion cleaned windows and inside the fridge.. Devin mopped floors and Tiff vacuumed the whole house, including the stairs! It was a fun night of housework with music crankin' in the background. No power struggles. No threats. No punishments or tears. Just pure, authentic connection and fun as we clean together as a family.