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Clutter Control

No one likes housework, least of all children. But getting your kids in on the cleaning act can teach them valuable life skills about working together, respecting the needs of others, and being responsible—even when it's no fun. Try these ideas for making housework a little more family-friendly:

  • Relax; decide what is most important to you and develop a plan to accomplish these chores.

  • Make housekeeping part of your regular family routine.

  • Work together. It's usually more fun to be part of a team effort.

  • Allow children to choose one chore they enjoy and assign them another to teach them responsibility and the reality that we all have to do things we don't particularly enjoy now and then.

  • To prevent boredom, teach new skills regularly and vary each child's responsibilities from time to time.

  • Begin to teach the discipline of doing chores when your children are young. (If you've missed that opportunity, don't be discouraged. Until they move out, it isn't too late to develop new habits.)

  • Keep your entrance and main living area clean and tidy. It's more enjoyable to spend time in a clutter-free environment. When you come home, or when company drops by, you'll know you have at least one area that doesn't need cleaning.

  • Emphasize the importance of keeping stairways and bedroom floors tidy. Children need to know that clutter in these places can be dangerous.

  • Teach the importance of regularly sorting possessions and giving to the needy.

  • Make your goal the development of good habits and a sense of shared responsibility, not an immaculate house.

  • Use the opportunity housekeeping provides to teach your children thankfulness. As you do dishes, thank the Lord for food and pray for those who don't have enough to eat. Thank God for clothing and pray for others as you sort laundry. It's amazing how quickly this will change a negative attitude toward the task at hand.

—Stephanie Nickel

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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