Do you do housework at home

Housework: household organization plan for families

In most families it is the number one issue: Who helps how much around the house? Educators agree that children should be introduced to order and help with household chores at an early age. But can you let a three-year-old clear the table without breaking the dishes? Or is a ten year old allowed to use the iron? With these tips you will introduce your family to "that little bit of housework".

Who does what in the household?

For many children it is very clear: they work the most. After all, they go to school, do their homework and, ideally, clean their room themselves. And should they also take on other duties? No thanks. In its brochure "Time management in everyday life", the consumer advice center advises family members and themselves to make it clear how the work in the household is distributed. The tasks can be analyzed with a small test. For this, each family member receives a sheet of paper on which all tasks are listed, such as:

  • Who makes the most money in the family?
  • Who cleans?
  • Who cooks?
  • Who was washing?
  • Who does most of the shopping?
  • Who pays the bills?
  • Who brings the car to the workshop?
  • Who prepares the children's birthday party?
  • Who feeds the dog or cat?
  • Who mainly uses the car?
  • Who takes care of the garden and when?
  • Who will take out the trash can?
  • Who drives others to sports, to school?

Sort tasks by frequency

The estimates of how much time is needed for the respective tasks are probably different. Children and adolescents are less able to judge times and are probably surprised at how much mum and dad have to do in everyday life.

This may make them more willing to do their part in the budget. You sort the collected tasks according to how often they have to be done - daily, every four days, once a week, every four weeks. In the end, you transfer this order to a monthly calendar.

Create schedules

The family members can either create a wish list: which tasks I would like to have, which ones less? Or you can create small pieces of paper for the tasks that all family members can take on and give away the tasks.

In the case of small children, it is advisable to create an exact time schedule for the tasks themselves. For example, on Mondays and Fridays between two and three, the waste paper is put in the paper bin. This helps them, as children find it difficult to organize themselves. For older children or adolescents, a free period is usually sufficient. The more precisely the family agrees on the tasks, the better they work together as a team without stress.

Living with (household) plan

The monthly calendar can be designed in different colors, maybe the little ones want to decorate it. It is best hung in a clearly visible place. After a job has been done, it makes sense to mark the task as completed with smileys, different colored checkmarks or colored stickers.

Since everyone can "monitor" the tasks of the other, there will be less arguments - especially with siblings who quickly feel that their brother or sister is being taken advantage of. After a certain period of time, about one to two months, you can re-discuss the family plan in a family meeting and redesign it if necessary. This makes the division of the housework for the children a happening and you can unobtrusively distribute the tasks if a child is overwhelmed or under-challenged with the assigned work.

In addition, unloved work can be passed on after a month or another period of time, so that everyone gets a turn. Or the created budget can apply to all family members "on probation" and the next one is only created if the family members are dissatisfied with it.

Respect the rules

It is of course important that tasks are carried out regularly and consistently. This doesn't just apply to the children - the adults also have to stick to the plan. If dad has to clean the car on Saturdays and instead prefers to have an ice cream with the youngest during this period, the argument is inevitable. Only if everyone adheres to the (family) rules will the system get used to it and function.

Life without a plan - but with bosses

Some adults and children have an aversion to plans, set times or smileys on colorful posters. There are also other ways to get structure and order into everyday life. It is important that all family members realize that togetherness can only work with mutual support.

Even without an organizational plan, you can make clear agreements about who is responsible for what and when. There are no limits to your imagination - as a family leader, you know your system best; You know what makes your family tick.

A variant could also be to appoint little bosses for the respective tasks: the hall manager is responsible for ensuring that there are no shoes and jackets lying around in the hallway, the electricity manager makes sure that the lights are not on unnecessarily, the paper and glass manager brings the waste paper and glass out, the crockery chef sets the table, the gardener is responsible for looking after the garden. After a week there is a change and the family members can choose a new "office".

Distribution of tasks

Children need the experience of being able to do something and of being worth something. Just like adults, they want to be needed. If they notice that mum, dad or their older siblings honor their work and consider them important, helping around the house also promotes the children's self-esteem - not just tidiness in the home.

If your child wants to take on tasks that you do not think are age-appropriate, talk about them. Don't ban them right now. During dangerous work, such as ironing, you can describe your concerns and draw attention to the dangers. As parents, of course, you have the scepter in your hand and ultimately assign the tasks.

Let yourself have your own experiences

However, it is still advisable to let the children experience them. For example, if an eight-year-old wants to clean the bathroom every week instead of taking out the trash every two days, let her try. Most likely, the work will be too much for her after the second time and she will be happy about the easier work you have assigned.

If you deny her wish, demotivate her and she will fight the budget. Of course, in the beginning you may have to wipe over again in some places, but over time the little helpers will also grow into real help. Which ones here.

The legal situation

The Youth Labor Protection Act (JArbSchG) prohibits child labor, but expressly allows "employment by custodians in the family household". Children over 13 years of age and adolescents who go to school may, among other things, be engaged in "household and garden activities, running errands, looking after children and other people belonging to the household" and "shopping activities". According to the Child and Youth Welfare Act (KJHG), children and young people who feel exploited at home have the right to contact the youth welfare office.

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