Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Life With No Chores?

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.


mamak said...

That's so cool! Love that pic of Orion's goofy smiley face! I remember when each of my babes went through that ultra cute stage..
I however, want the joy while housecleaning pill. I do it with out complaining, but I feel so drained. :>(

Anonymous said...

What do you recommend doing when you have already ruined it by complaining of being everyone's slave, or complaining of the toys on the floor.

Bonnie said...

i loved your blog today (and every day). this one hits home because i like anonymous have complained in the past about the cleaning and have spoken under my breath about being the slave.
i actually do not mind it so much and enjoy when it is picked up.
i have a lot to learn i guess

Anonymous said...

Okay totally random I know, but I LOVE those stripped rugs. Where are they from???

Dayna Martin said...

I got the rugs at a store called, "Ocean State Job Lot". <3

Nush said...

Awesome post! I have noticed after reading this post that when I have music playing and having a great time cleaning, the boys ask to spray the windows or clean up with me.

Never actually put two and two together until....now. I thank you for that!

rlw said...

I just found your blog tonight, and think this is the best post I've ever read!

EcoMaMa said...

I love this post so much. Thank you for putting it out there for other families to see how much easier life can be without "chores".

erika said...

thanks so much for this post and for your attitude on "chores!" i just started a chore chart with my little ones, and my three year old now says, "i hate chores! i just want to play!" my thoughts exactly, lol. anyway, i like the attitude you have fostered, and a change in my attitude will likely result in a change in my children's. thank you!

renee @ FIMBY said...

Um... what can I say? Wow. I came over here from Steady Mom this morning. I don't complain (that much) about doing chores but I'm definitely not full of gratitude. Looks like I need an attitude shift.

We do have chore charts to remind everyone what to do on certain days but there isn't rewards or punishments it's just what we do as a family to keep the household running. We're a team. We work as a team and play as a team - together.

Great Post Dayna, now I'm off to snoop around a little more :)

seana said...

I'm waiting on what you recommend for those of us who screwed it up and started out negative?

I'd also appreciate any suggestions on how to keep the mind shift going. I can do it for a day or two but after that it gets lost and I forget about it for way too long.