Me in a Tree

Posts Tagged ‘Chores’



Chores can seem more like a pumpkin after the clock strikes 12 than a decked out carriage, but we have put together a list of ways to supercharge your daily tasks so that your day ends in fairy tale-like bliss with your family.

1. Automate what you can. From phone charges to mortgage payments, there are plenty of everyday tasks like paying bills that you can automate. By setting up an automatic withdrawal system, you save time writing out cheques and endless trips to the bank.

2. Batch it up. Accomplishing things like cooking in batches frees up time to spend with the people you love. For instance, try cooking or baking in bulk on the weekend to free up the time it takes to cook during the week. You might want to try using a scheduling system like Me in a Tree’s calendar to designate certain days for cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc.

3. The most important tip is to enlist help. Whether you call your mom to change diapers or ask your children to help fold laundry, the power of cooperation and working together will fast-track your task-list. Schedule one day of the week to get all the chores done, and on that day, assemble your task-force (i.e. your children and partner), and kick some chore butt.

However you decide to accomplish your daily chores, set up a schedule, set reminders, and stick to them. Before the day is out and your children are slumbering in their dreamy worlds, you will have stolen a few moments of deserved family time.


Cooperation is defined as working together for a common purpose or benefit. Me in a TreeIt can be hard to get children to cooperate effectively, but if you show them the benefits of working together, it will not only contribute to a happier home, but to your child’s development, too.

The most obvious benefit of working together includes the idea that when you work together to accomplish a task, you have more time available to do something fun. Tell your child that they have to help pick up their toys before they can go outside and play.

Also, by cooperating children will learn how to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and interests, and they become more self-aware by working with classmates, friends, parents, or siblings. Self-awareness is a critical skill to develop to grow in self-confidence and positive self-esteem.

Children also learn social awareness and relationship skills through cooperation. Learning how other people work to accomplish tasks helps children appreciate the similarities and differences in others. This can lend to the formation of positive relationships with peers and family members.

Cooperation can also be fun! You can make a game out of your tasks. For instance, create a game of throwing the socks into the sock drawer. If they score, give the child a point which can be used for a “fun day” later when your child has accumulated enough points. Make sure to tell your child that if they miss, they still need to put the socks where they belong – in the sock drawer.

Teaching cooperation can be as easy as making something together or weeding the garden. Children will benefit greatly from learning teamwork through cooperation.

Edutopia: Common Ground


Assigning kids chores is one of the best ways to build self-esteem and develop a feeling of competence. Me in a TreeYour child will also grow up perceiving chores as a normal habit of life and establish a good habit and attitude about work.

Psychologists have observed that kids around 18 months of age naturally want to help others. As children are natural imitators, they start doing things that you would do such as sweep, empty dishwasher, wipe counters, and so on. The problem is ‘their helping’ usually becomes more work for parents and takes twice as long. The consequence of this is that parents often squelch this helping desire. Parents will end up doing it themselves to quickly complete the task. It’s important to stop the urge of shooing your preschooler away when they naturally want to volunteer.

Here are some tips on how to effectively get your child to do chores:

Choose the right chores: Make sure your child is capable of doing this chore. Know your child’s skills and what they are interested in.
Take the time for teaching: Take the time to show your preschooler how a chore is done. Don’t assume they naturally know how. Instead, work together until you see that your preschooler is ready to do it by him or herself.
Make it a fun game: Hide pennies around the house under items that need to be put away or cleaned and let them see how many they can find.
Offer praise: Whenever your child makes an effort or completes a task, let them know that they have a good job and you appreciate the help. Praise will motivate them to keep trying.
Make it part of their routine: Pick a day and a time when chores are to be done and stick to it. Consistency is the key. However you decide to set a routine, make sure that it is consistent.
Build relationships through chores: Use this time to bond. If you are helping your child wash the car, have a spontaneous water fight. If you cleaning the bathrooms, crank the music and dance while you’re doing it. Not only will you bond with your child, but have fun too.

If you want to set up a plan for your family’s chores around the house, check out Me In A Tree’s “My Duties” page. We guarantee you will have a good time!


By: Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

Summary: Are you having trouble finding time to be with your children and to be with each other? Discover how important this balance is, and what may be the underlying issue in the way of couple time.

Couple Time - Ambro

A happy and harmonious marriage is a gift to your children

A reader emailed me the following question:

“Many dads and moms, especially those that work full-time, are torn by guilt when it comes to allocation. They have been away from the kids so long during the working week that the weekends MUST be spent with them. Result: There is simply NO couple-time. Any suggestions?


Should kids have to do chores to get allowance?

This is a tough one……

Everyone has their own philosophy about chores being linked to allowance. However, I personally don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. I think it depends on what works best for your family.  Try them both! Take note of the results.

Allowance for nothing? Or, chores gets you money!

To pay or not to pay?


Sunday has historically been deemed a day of rest, to spend time with your family – immediate or extended. For some people they take advantage of the day off; the last day of the weekend to do chores they don’t have time for during the week, catching up on paper work, a day of worship or spending time with family doing whatever happens to come up.

Due to changes in our society over the years, for many people Sunday is yet another day of work while their kids are home from school, sometimes by themselves. In this fast paced world we live in is it important for families to take time together? Do you think it makes a difference when family members can depend on at least one day or night they know they will be together to talk, have fun, exchange ideas and generally enjoy each others company? There have been many studies on the benefits of families regularly eating together. The studies conclude families communicate better, have a better understanding of each other and according to this article from ENA “researchers also found that compared with teens who have more than 5 family dinners on a weekly basis, those who have two or less are 3 times as likely to try marijuana, 2.5 times as likely to smoke cigarettes and 1.5 times as likely to start alcohol consumption”. Is it a sure thing, no, nothing ever is, but isn’t it worth the effort…….any and every day of the week?


Well at least not today! Today is National No Housework day! Yeah!!! Take the day off and enjoy some greatly needed down time with your family. Play a game, watch a movie, bake some cookies (not a chore if you do it together). Be inventive…………….or just put your feet up and enjoy being together. Take advantage of a great excuse not to do any chores and start planning how you’re family will divvy up chores from now on. If you’re feeling like you do most of the chores check out this article from the University of Michigan. It might give you some insight.


American teen Abby Sunderland’s dramatic end to her attempt to sail solo around the world has many people accusing her parents of irresponsibility. Although the elder Sunderlands told the Los Angeles Times that danger is everywhere, it’s a fact that many of us would never allow our children on the high seas alone. But whether we agree with the Sunderland’s decision or not, we have to admit that 16-year-old Abby has responsibility down pat. What can we learn from the Sunderland family that might help us raise the same kind of super-responsible kid?

I don’t know Abby Sunderland or her family. But we can use what we do know to deduce a few things that may have contributed to this young woman’s ability to be responsible.
Here are some things I plan to keep in mind for my kids:


Housework, how do we conquer the never ending list of chores and still have the time and energy for our families?

My solution, make chores a team effort.

Working as a team might means everyone pitching in together, or it might also mean each person doing individual jobs, which together, get the whole job done. It does not matter which one you’re doing as long as the children are aware this is a team effort.

In my home we have a rule that at the end of each meal, no one leaves the kitchen until the kitchen is clean. The children are used to this and they pitch in together. One loads the dishwasher; the other puts away the ketchup and wipes the table, while my husband and I tackle the pots and leftovers. Now the family realizes the faster we work together, the sooner the job is done.