Housework: Getting The Entire Family To Share The Load

Housework: Getting The Entire Family To Share The Load

According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics annual Time Use Survey, for those who are involved in household activities – defined as housework, cooking, cleaning up after cooking, and generally taking care of the household – the average woman spends 2.6 hours each day on household activities, while the average man spends 2.1 hours each day.

Devising a family plan for housework is a must for any single-parent household, or any household combining two income-earning adults and family. The following suggestions may help you.

Making a family plan for housework

1. Be sure that everyone in your family understands that housework is a responsibility for all  family members to tackle.

2. Hold a family meeting. Brainstorm on ways to handle chores.

3. Be creative. Tasks can be divided up in a variety of ways: You can make a list together;
then whoever gets up first on Saturday morning chooses a chore, and whoever wakes
up last gets what’s left.  You can rotate chores, or leave them to the luck of the draw.  Or,
family members can choose certain jobs they like best, as long as everyone is satisfied
with the division of labor.

4. Include standards and regular evaluations, with consequences if a person doesn’t do his
or her share or doesn’t do it well.

5. Suggestion #1: Even very small children can be taught to help in numerous ways. They
can: care for the family pet, take out the garbage, water plants, dust and sweep, set and
clear the table, put dirty clothes in the hamper, make beds, keep their rooms clean and
organized.  Fortunately, younger children like doing chores, so you can easily make a
game of it.  What starts as fun can become a good habit.

6. Suggestion #2: Whenever possible, make chores fun, or at least less burdensome. Add
music; work together as a family; build in a reward or special activity when chores are
done.  Recognize improvement as well as excellence.  Frequent praise and mutual
appreciation will help your system work.

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