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Chores and Preventing Overwhelm

Have you ever given your kids a ‘to do’ list of chores, ie: clean your room, clean the bathroom, dust the house, etc. and then watched their eyes glaze over as they wander off only to get distracted by anything and everything else?  

That’s not your kids being lazy or defiant.  What you are seeing is a child experiencing overwhelm.  

They don’t know where or how to start with that vague list you just gave them.  The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way.  There are several ways you can make it easier on everyone!

Here are three simple things you can do to help prevent this overwhelm and help your kids thrive during chore time.

  1. Choose Age-Appropriate Chores

Always assign age-appropriate chores. Consider your child’s abilities, attention span, and physical capabilities. Younger children may only be able to handle simple tasks like dusting or setting the table, while older children can take on more complex chores like laundry or cleaning the bathroom.

  1. Clear and Specific Instructions

Instead of saying, “Clean your room,” you can ask them to first pick up all the toys, then make the bed, and finally, put dirty clothes in the hamper. This approach makes the task less daunting and more achievable. Which brings us to #3…

   3.  Break Tasks into Smaller Steps

Chores with multiple steps can be daunting for children, leading to overwhelm. To avoid this, break larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps.  You can write the steps down or sit with them as you go over what needs to be done next.  Or you can grab The Shine Guides and make it super easy on yourself!

  Bonus: Be Flexible!

While routines are essential, it’s also crucial to be flexible. Kids might have a rough day at school, or family events might disrupt the usual chore schedule. Be sure to adjust expectations and allow some leeway, ensuring that kids don’t feel extra stressed by expectations at home.

Remember that as the parents it’s important to create balance and be understanding. By assigning age-appropriate tasks, providing clear instructions, and breaking down tasks into smaller steps, you can help your children develop valuable life skills without feeling overwhelmed!


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