One of the number one roadblocks I hear from moms who are struggling to get their children doing chores is that the job never gets done correctly. The chore (if it’s completed at all) will only be done halfway, or will be done sloppily…and then, nine times out of ten, Mom ends up feeling like requiring her children to complete chores is pointless, a waste of time…and it’s just easier to do the chores herself.
Mama, I have been there and done that. For so many years I was on the same hamster wheel of needing the children’s help with housework, truly wanting to teach them how to do housework properly (it’s a life skill, after all), but feeling completely defeated by my own children’s lack of follow-through and attention to detail.
As you may have heard me say in the past, “if Almonzo Wilder’s mother and father could teach their four children how to completely run a farm, I can teach my children how to do basic household chores!”
And YOU can too!
Quite possibly, one of the largest keys to success in our home chore system has been setting up and implementing SOPs (or Standard Operating Procedures). Let’s dive into why having SOPs for child chores is basically the answer to ALL your problems!
Chore SOPs Provide Detailed Instructions
I first learned about SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) when I was building my business and also freelancing for other businesses. SOPs are just very detailed instructions for completing a task.
The best SOPs are so detailed, that they leave no question unanswered, and nothing un-explained. It is quite simply a start to finish guide for completing a task.
I actually got the idea for creating SOPs for my home one Sunday morning while sitting in Sunday school. I noticed that each church classroom had a laminated set of instructions near the door for “re-setting” the room, in case anything got moved around.
This list was for people who would rent classrooms from the church during the week, so that they could feel free to change the room to suit their needs, but everything must be returned to its proper place when the class was over.
There was even a diagram for table and chair placement, nothing was left to chance or interpretation, it was all clearly spelled out.
So basically…the instructions were SO clear that no one would be able to (in good conscious) say…”Oh! I didn’t realize!” if the room was not reset correctly.
It occurred to me that Sunday morning that this might be the answer to ALL the times I had similar conversations with my own children. The conversations would go like this…
Me: Why didn’t you clean under the toilet seat?
Child: Oh, I forgot!
I’m sure you can imagine all the different iterations of this exact conversation, you’ve probably heard it all with your own children.
But if I had an SOP for every room/chore…my children would no longer be able to use those tired excuses, because it was already spelled out so clearly for them.
Chore SOP Secrets: Inspect What You Expect
Over a decade ago I was at a homeschool conference and the speaker said a phrase that has stuck with me..unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the speaker to properly give credit.
“You must inspect what you expect.”
This simple phrase perfectly sums up why so many of us moms end up failing to get our children properly trained in doing chores.
We tell them what we want them to do, we may even take the time to show them.
But we don’t write down detailed instructions for them to refer back to (SOPs).
And we also don’t do consistent and thorough inspections of the job they do.
Even today, after many many years of having a fantastic chore system in place, if I slack off on MY job (inspections), the quality of the children’s work WILL decline.
If my children know that I will most likely be inspecting their chores, they will do a much better job, because they do NOT want to have to come back and do it again.
Please don’t think it’s any great inadequacy on your children’s part…this is simply human nature. If we have accountability, we do a better job, simple as that!
Would you like to know what makes YOUR job of inspecting 100% easier?
…Having an SOP in front of you. You can quickly scan the SOP, and if anything is not done properly, just point to that line item, and ask the child to correct the mistake.
It’s written in black and white, there is no confusion, and the solution for how to correct the mistake is right there.
I have found, in my home, that having clear and concise SOPs for the children’s chores takes the emotion out of the job.
Introducing Done-For-You Chore SOPs
Back to the beginning of this story…
As I sat in that Sunday School room, I knew what needed to be done.
I needed to write SOPs for every room/chore in the house and double down on inspections.
This was the way.
However, the thought of this monumental task was so thoroughly exhausting, that I promptly procrastinated.
It actually took me another six months to work up the gumption to tackle the task.
I would like to spare you the time, angst, and procrastination.
I am so pleased to offer you a done-for-you option that will quickly get you up and running with Chore SOPs in your own home!
I keep these printed out, laminated, and hung on the back of each door with velcro dots. They are always where they need to be, ready to be consulted for the chore, and the inspection, and they have made such a huge difference in our home!
You can use coupon code HELLO20 to get 20% off your purchase at check-out!
Here are just a few things that people are saying about these Done-For-You Chore SOPs: