Communicating Chore Expectations

I know I can’t be the only parent who has ever dealt with the following situation.  It’s Saturday morning and it’s time for everyone to do their weekly chores.  You give the orders and you proceed to attend to your own weekly duties.  You march full steam ahead, hopeful that each child has their zone under control. Periodically, a child will come to you to inform you that they are done with their responsibilities.  You smile to yourself because you know that you are well on your way to an orderly house and fun times as a family.  When you finish with your tasks you breathe a sigh of relief and you start to tour your clean home.

Only … it’s NOT clean!

Inspections of each zone reveal atrocities overlooked by each child.  Missed dusty surfaces.  Half-cleaned toilets.  Neglected mirrors.  Toys under beds.  Crumbs in the corners.  Sticky drinks rings on the counters.   Perhaps a stray napkin or two.

How could the kids POSSIBLY think this is CLEAN?!?!?

I used to get angry at this scenario.  Week after week I would have this experience.  Same show, different episode. I was so frustrated with what I perceived as  laziness and indifference to a job well done.

One day it occurred to me that the kids did not have a clear picture of what my expectations are.  I was looking at their attempts with perfectionist adult eyes.  From their point of view, they DID do their job and often seemed confused over my dissatisfaction. Continue reading Communicating Chore Expectations