This is sponsored content. All opinions, stories and crazy ideas are 100% mine.
Last night I was chatting with my college-age daughter about some of the projects that I have to finish up this week. I’m out of town right now visiting her where she attends college. I told her: “I’m writing an article about teaching kids responsibility when it comes to household chores”…….. and she BUST out laughing.
Not a good sign. Not at all. You see I’m the mom that tries to have fancy things like chore charts, and cleaning schedules and daily tasks for the kids to do, but never quite succeeds in getting them to really take hold.
Our Family’s Struggle with Chores:
I figure that there are other moms like me who struggle with consistency when it comes to kids and chores. I’m also not a naturally organized person. That is why this is a DIY blog and NOT an organization blog. *wink*. I do however find things that work for me, and when I do I love to share them because I figure if they can work for a totally disorganized person then they can most likely work for anyone.
I’ve shared in the past how I’ve organized my laundry room and how I took back our mudroom. Those two posts are some of the most popular on my blog right now. I think it’s because they are solutions to problems that are likely to work and don’t required a gross amount of extra effort or lifestyle changes.
I have 2 fourteen-year-olds at home right now. Both totally capable, intelligent, and wonderful children. However, you ask them to load the dishwasher or clean the kitchen and all of the sudden they act like you are speaking a foreign language to them.
Lately, the kitchen seems to be ground zero in the battleground of household chores. I’ve always cooked, my husband has always done the dishes. It works for us. He has decided that the kids need more responsibility (I can hardly argue with him on that point) and wants to pass the task of dishwashing onto the teenagers in the house.
Anyone with a teen can see the obvious problem with this. What you gain in help from the teenager you lose in quality of work. Teens are not generally known as being overly detail-oriented and many (mine included) want to try to get away with the least amount of work required for the given task.
This summer as the kids have been more involved with cleaning the kitchen I’ve learned a few tips that have seemed to help us and may help you out too. (A few of these tips I picked up on when my 20 yr old was younger).
4 Tips for Managing Summer Chores with Teens & Tweens:
1. Make a list for them.
You can’t just say “go clean the kitchen” most kids can’t break down the tasks enough to figure out how to get a clean kitchen at the end. Go through and clean WITH them a few times so they can see how it all works. Then when they do it themselves they know what to do.
Giving them a job to do and not giving them the skills to do it only setting them up for frustration. A few years ago I shared this free printable on my blog. It’s a little “cleaning checklist” for teens or college kids.
It’s small, can hang on the knob in the kitchen and breaks down the tasks for them. It works for us because it’s not a chore chart that I have to reprint every week and it’s simple for the kids to read. You can download the cleaning checklist for free on the TEMPLATES page.
2. Make them accountable.
Find some way to make the kids accountable for their chores and their work. If they realize that they can devote a half effort to cleaning the kitchen and get away with it, they are not really going to learn anything.
Right now they have to “pass-off” the kitchen as clean to me before they can move onto another task (like watching tv or playing video games) for the day. If they have to clean the kitchen twice, they’ll catch on a lot quicker.
3. Be Patient.
Don’t forget they are kids LEARNING to be adults. It’s hard for us as adults to remember what that felt like. Be firm and consistent but also kind.
4. The products you use can make a difference.
There is this thing that goes into your dishwasher called rinse agent. Most of the time you probably forget it’s there (like I do) but you need to add rinse agent to your dishwasher on a regular basis. There is nothing worse than loading a dishwasher then opening it and NOT finding clean dishes. Seriously who wants to run a dishwasher twice? Not me.
If you simply fill your rinse aid dispenser with Finish® Jet-Dry® Rinse Aid and it will be automatically released in the rinse cycle every time your dishwasher runs. The rinse aid helps to prevent spots on your dishes.
I’ve also noticed that if I use a quality dishwasher detergent that it helps A TON. The kids are not the best at getting all the gunk off of the dishes before they load them in the dishwasher. Recently we’ve switched to using the Finish® Max In One detergent. It has a Powerball® which helps to scrub away dried-on leftovers and cut through grease and other stains.
Right now Walmart is running an Ibotta offer on Jet Dry® Rinse Aid and Finish® Dish Detergent. If you’re not familiar with what an Ibotta is, it is a cashback rebate that you earn when you shop at your favorite retail and grocery stores. There are 3 ways to earn the rebates, online, via loyalty card or by submitting receipts with your smartphone. For more details, you can visit the IBOTTA website.
Here are the links to the Ibotta’s:
You can also use it online with THIS LINK.
Bonus offer: If you buy any Finish® Detergent (23ct and larger) AND Finish® Jet Dry®, you’ll get an additional $1.00
The rebate is for $1 off. You’ll notice that the rinse agent was only $2.96 to start with. That makes it only $1.96 and you get 80 washes out of it… so it’s only 2 cents a wash! The dish detergent stated at $4.93 minus the $1 Ibotta and minus the $1 bonus Ibotta it comes out to $2.93. You get 23 tablets in the package which breaks down to only 12 cents a wash! Pretty sweet.
What Works for your Family?
I’ve shared a few tips with you of how I get my kids to help out around the house, now share a few with me… tell me what’s worked for you in your family. This summer has really been challenging for me when it comes to housework and I’d appreciate any tips that you have.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Reckitt Benckiser. The opinions and text are all mine.