Well, I didn’t really know he was going to do this, but I thought it was awfully sweet that while I took the boys on a field trip last week, my husband Matt (did all the breakfast clean up and) wrote a guest post explaining our “Kitchen System“. The system was his idea after all, and it’s been working beautifully. So many of you asked about this system after I wrote about it last week…so here you go! Once it’s springtime again, I think I need Matt to write a guest post about how to build a raised garden bed, what do you think?
My Heavenly Homemaker had too much of the cleaning responsibility in our kitchen falling on her. And I think she felt like the kitchen was falling on her sometimes. We have children ages 5 (he’ll tell you five and three quarters) through 13 right now. They should be doing more. Rarely will a child just magically hop in and do more. If you are blessed with one of those who jumps in and works hard, it is due to your parenting. BRAVO! If they need some help in this area, then likewise, it is up to your parenting. Laura and I recognized that our boys needed guidance in this area so we came up with a Kitchen Chore Chart aka The System.
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, making many messes and monumental masterpieces there, but Mom was usually stuck with the aftermath. Notice I said “was.” We’ve moved from (after)math to music (to her ears). In our effort to conduct our family as an orchestra playing a work of art we are becoming more organized. Below is our plan for kitchen chores plus some other cleaning that we felt was being overlooked or needed to be systematized. Click on the link below to download:
Remake or tweak the chart to fit your context. Then FOLLOW THROUGH. Be the parent. I know this audience is overwhelmingly Moms, but Dads, get on board with the plan. Yes, literally mark your name/initials on the chart and work alongside your family. I have had fun and I have been firm also. You reap what you sow. So sow seeds that will reap dividends better than so-so. (I couldn’t resist.)
A few notes:
1) In the early, training days of implementation it will probably take you and the team longer to complete the tasks than if you just did it yourself, but after proper training, it will pay off.
2) We are rotating the duties every meal and changing the lineup a bit daily in hopes that it won’t get old and because each day is different.
3) Obviously, older kids can do some chores that younger ones aren’t capable of yet, but don’t forget to graduate the younger ones onto higher expectations. Right now our chart separates “Put away leftovers” from “Clear table/buffet” so that our youngest has a couple of different chores he can do or team up with someone else to do. In a year we’ll probably combine the two.
4) Ideally, the chart is updated for the following day at the end of the day so you aren’t scrambling, confused or arguing the next morning. Hmmm, does that sound like we have had that experience?
Field trip this morning that Mom and the boys went on,
so breakfast was a little out of the norm on this chart.
Many hands, even mini-hands, make light work…when trained and organized.
Laura here…I will state again what Matt said in this post: Download the Kitchen Chore Chart we’ve come up with to get an idea of what works for us, but be sure to revamp it to meet your needs! And just in case you were wondering, “Mo” stands for Mom and “Ma” stands for Malachi. And “D” stands for Dad because we couldn’t have another “Ma” that stood for Matt. Wow, this system is really complicated, huh? Okay, no, not really.