I know that I can be simple minded sometimes and this one seems fundamental, but I thought I would put it out there anyhow. If the mother of the household cooks then dad and the kids should clean up, right? Something seems wrong if everyone scatters to do their own thing when dinner is over except for mom. Something is definitely not right if the kids scatter when dinner is over and leave dad and mom to clean up.
There are many benefits of eating dinner together as a family every day.
One of them is an excellent opportunity to teach your kids the importance of working together to help get the dining area and kitchen cleaned up afterwards.
In our house, a fringe benefit of having 3 boys that are old enough to work is that the duties can be spread out amongst each of us.
One is responsible for cleaning the table and sweeping the floor; another is responsible for cleaning the dishes; another helps put food away and I clean off the counters and stove.
If your kids are still young, they can at least carry their own plate or cup to the sink. Naturally, as they get older, then they can do more.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
If it is just you and your wife, if you only have one child or if you are a single mom, the same principle applies. Mom should not have to do it all. The work load should be shared amongst everyone in the house.
If you are already practicing this in your home, then you are probably living in a happy home; cause when momma is happy, everyone is happy.
If your household might need a little work, then the following is how I would go about getting the ship turned in the right direction.
1. First, have dinner together.
This may seem obvious, but if you don’t typically eat at a dinner table together then it’s harder for the kids to form the habits you might be looking for.
2. Talk about it.
Don’t just start hollering and giving marching orders. Make it the topic of the next dinner conversation. Discuss why it is important for everyone to pitch in and help. State what you need help with and then give everyone the option of choosing which one they would like to do.
3. Have the same person do the same task every time.
If no one knows what the other is doing, then something will get left undone or there will just be plain chaos. We are creatures of habit.
The challenging part of this though is trying to prevent your kids from thinking only about theirselves and their own job and not wanting to cross the line and help someone else out when needed.
Good luck and happy cleaning!
If you have any comments or suggestions please share.