If you add up all the housework parents do in a given year to maintain a happy, healthy and, most importantly, clean home, it’s safe to assume that on average every single day will involve a chore or two.
But not on April 7. Today is the one day that deviates from the mean because it’s National No Housework Day.
For one day, all the dishes should be left in the sink; all the laundry should stay soiled; all the beds should remain unmade. But this national holiday should be a valuable reminder for teens: housework piles up quickly when nobody tends to it.
So how can you turn this day into a teaching lesson?
Divide and Conquer
The saying “two heads are better than one” is a universally accepted truth, but for reasons unknown many parents dismiss it when it comes to family housework. A Chicago Tribune article reported 82 percent of parents did chores when they were kids, but only 28 percent ask their kids to do the same. By splitting all the cleanup duties in the wake of No Housework Day, your teen should understand that a united front against chores will make for a faster and easier process. Additionally, if you give your teen a specific role that they can continue to own long after No Housework Day, it will give them a clearly defined responsibility and lessen the need for micromanaging.
Pay to Play
The same article reported 13 percent of parents said their kids will only do chores if they’re paid. Even though this is a low number, these teens are working wisely within our capitalist system. Providing an allowance for completion of housework is something that parents should consider, especially if you ask your teen to do larger jobs that can be seasonal or bi-annual (think: cleaning the gutters). Creating a minor work environment will teach teens compensation is only rewarded with a job well done — a vital real world lesson.
Time is money management
Giving teens household duties they are expected to complete on time will provide a tangible time management system they can take to the next stage of their lives. If they want to see a movie, for example, they won’t be able to afford it without timely completion of their tasks. Three-quarters of the parent respondents agreed that chores make children “more responsible,” so the only thing holding back their development is a well-structured plan.
If you lead the way, parents, you’ll find a well-balanced distribution of household work will create more free time for you — perhaps even a semi-annual celebration of No Housework Day!