If you’re a busy parent like me, you’re always looking for ways to make life easier for yourself while teaching your kids valuable life skills.
So here is my short list of three easy jobs to outsource to your kids.
Kids are generally a lot more capable than you think. Give them an incentive, and they’ll not only start to pick up great habits from helping out around the house, they’ll make your life easier doing it! So here we go.
1. Maintain their own space.
Notice I could have said Tidy their rooms but I didn’t. Personal space maintenance is something quite different. It includes not only making their bed each morning and taking their dirty washing out to the laundry every night, but keeping their own belongings organised in the home, around the home. Wherever they are.
So if your daughter – like mine – likes to draw at the dining table, part of her task is to clean up and keep everything neat and tidy once she’s done. Every single time. If it helps, buy her a small crate to keep her belongings in that can be easily transported and put away once she’s done.
Make organisation easy for kids – but be aware that making organisation easy isn’t always about buying organisational products. Usually it’s a plain matter of having less stuff.
Maintaining their own space includes putting their school bags away when they get home, and taking their homework and lunch boxes out of their bags ready for late afternoon.
It includes ensuring their belongings aren’t strewn around the house. It includes teaching them how to care for their clothing, and how to throw things away that are no longer needed. Outsource this task, and you’ll make life lighter and easier for yourself for years to come.
Maintaining their own space is all about making the house liveable for everyone else in the home – and it’s especially important that kids learn this skill in large families, which can rapidly descend into chaos if they don’t take care.
2. Prepare their school lunches.
Children over the age of 6 or 7 are fully capable of preparing their own school lunches. You can make this task easier for them by keeping the school lunch food all in one place, in one part of the pantry where everything is reachable and easy to find.
Keep a set routine of what kids take for lunch, and soon they’ll know what goes in their lunchboxes and be able to fill them all by themselves.
In my case, my kids make a sandwich each (and put it in a sandwich bag), add a piece of fruit, a packet of potato chips and usually a muesli bar or similar. It’s not hard for them to do, and they get it done right before breakfast. Right before they…
3. Make their own breakfasts.
My kids (age 12 and 9) make their own breakfasts. They get everything out ready, make breakfast, east, and tidy everything up once they’re done.
I do nothing for them. This small outsourcing operation frees me up to get ready myself, and it makes breakfast times faster and easier. I can sit and have a cup of tea, knowing my kids are managing for themselves and learning how to be capable, while saving me time and energy. It’s a win-win.
Image by Nacho Rascon
Outsourcing to kids is a huge win-win!
With the three simple outsourcing jobs above, I save hours of time a week. Plus, my kids are learning how to manage for themselves. As time goes on and they become teens, they’ll learn to do more and more around the home, but these are basics practically any child can do.
I believe that, as members of the family, kids have a responsibility to contribute to keeping things running smoothly. While they cannot contribute financially yet, they’re still able to do small tasks that add up in a big way.
So…have you outsourced any jobs to your kids yet? 🙂
Teach kids to maintain their own personal space. It’s a first step towards genuine adulthood.