Teaching Daily Maintenance

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Mom Tips

Daily Maintenance

Understanding the difference between daily maintenance and chores can help children be more productive and responsible.

What is Daily Maintenance?

Like most busy moms, I’ve spent a number of my mommin’ years trying to familiarize my children with the need for personal responsibilities.

From forming good cleaning habits to prioritizing different areas of their lives.

That said, it took years of failing before I finally discovered I was doing it all wrong.

Since day one my kiddos struggled with cleaning up after themselves and I thought creating a chore routine was the answer, you guys.

While a solid chore routine can benefit your life and your homeschool, it won’t fix the root cause of the problem.

It wasn’t until I read a social media post written by a frustrated mother who was fed up with her children slacking on their daily upkeep.

They complained they had too many chores and she described how frustrating it was that her children would call daily maintenance tasks chores.

This hit me hard.

Messy Living Room

Since that day, I’ve used the word maintenance in place of chores when referring to daily upkeep-type tasks.

In my opinion, daily maintenance is routine upkeep (mostly found in the form of finishing tasks).

While chores, on the other hand, are household tasks that require slightly more effort.

Knowing the difference between maintenance tasks and chore tasks is essential when it comes to teaching children responsibility around the house.

Daily Maintenance vs Chores

As I sit here typing this, it’s important that you know that I too am in the midst of this very battle.

The battle of teaching my children the difference between daily maintenance and chores.

I hope that you know you are not alone in your struggles!

That said, the long difficult road of helping your child understand the difference will be such a blessing in the end.

If you struggle to comprehend yourself or simply need an easy way to help your children understand, try asking these 3 questions.

  • Is it the Finishing of a Task?

I constantly find myself telling my kiddos “This isn’t a chore, it’s simply finishing your task.”.

For example, if your child is potty trained, you have likely already taught them that wiping, flushing, and washing/drying their hands are all a part of finishing the task of going potty, correct?

The Finishing of a Task

Well, the same set of rules should apply in all other areas of their lives.

What if that child also finishes off the toilet paper during their potty break? Shouldn’t replacing the roll and tossing the old one in the trash be the completion of that task?

100%, yes!

Throwing away snack wrappers, picking up their dirty socks, replacing the toilet paper roll, putting their dishes in the sink, and picking up their toys are all examples of what I consider to be daily maintenance tasks, not chores.

So, the next time one of your children wants to pick a battle about rinsing out their cereal bowl, ask them this question and remind them that they are simply finishing the task of eating breakfast.

  • Is it Something I do Daily?

This can be a tricky one, you guys.

Just because something is done daily, doesn’t automatically exclude it from the chore category.

However, many of those daily tasks (and chores) can be treated more like maintenance tasks if we simply change our mindset.

Something That's Done Daily

For example, you may have a family chore chart plastered on the fridge that states little Johnny makes his bed, straightens his room, feeds the dog, and takes out the trash on a daily basis.

Some of those should be considered chores.

Taking out the trash and feeding the dog benefit more than the task doer and aren’t necessarily the finishing of other tasks, so it’s hard to consider them anything but chores.

Making the bed and tidying up the bedroom, however, can easily be considered a maintenance task instead.

Not only do these tasks primarily benefit one person, but they can technically be looked at as a continuation of or the fishing of another task.

For instance, you can teach your children that making the bed is the final step of sleeping in the bed.

Encourage children to look at their daily habits and routines. Then, ask them this question in combination with the first question as they generally go hand-in-hand.

  • Would it Cause Problems if I Didn’t do it?

Lastly, it’s time to focus on the consequences of not following through on our daily maintenance tasks.

If you’ve been through the first 2 questions and your kiddos finally get it but are struggling with the follow-through, this is the third question you need to ask.

Focus on teaching children to distinguish the difference between something that needs to happen immediately and something that can be pushed off for later.

Consequences when Not Completed

For example, suppose a child changes their clothing and leaves their dirty clothes on the floor in their bedroom instead of placing them in the hamper. In that case, they may not get washed in a timely manner, be in the way of later chores such as vacuuming, or get destroyed by an animal.

This circles back to the first 2 questions too, you guys!

Not finishing the task of changing clothes by placing your clothes in your hamper every day has consequences!

Sometimes those consequences only affect the wrongdoer, while other times it causes frustration among many family members.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to scrub a dish that wasn’t rinsed off or do an extra load of laundry so someone had a clean shirt for an event.

Not only does skipping daily maintenance tasks on the regular make more work for Mom, but it can cause relationship strain as the children grow older.

Teaching Daily Maintenance

There are days I wish I had a magic wand for this task, you guys!

That said, I truly feel like constantly nagging my children (in the form of reminding them throughout the day) to clean up after themselves is all I’ve got.

Teaching Daily Maintenance

The biggest advice I can offer to you today is to be consistent and don’t give up!

I took on all the household responsibilities when my kids were little and then made the fun mistake of only leaning on a chore routine as they got older.

Don’t make the same mistakes I did.

Be strong, push forward, and start right now! You’ve totally got this momma!

Teaching Daily Maintenance

Meet the Author

Life & Homeschool Author

Hey guys! I’m Mary, homeschool mom of 3 amazing kiddos.

I’m so excited that you decided to check out my little corner of the world!

If you have been following our journey for any length of time, you already know that I’m obsessed with coffee, organization, and all things simple.

I’m also a huge dog lover and introvert 💗

My homeschool style is very eclectic.

I enjoy a solid mixture of structure and free range. I set goals for myself and my children each week, but I put no pressure on perfection.

We use a wide variety of curriculum in our home.

Some of our current favorites are The Good and the Beautiful, Life of Fred, Beautiful Feet Books, and Lifepac.

While my kids do spend a good amount of time learning at desks, they also spend countless hours exploring their creativity and practicing a little independence.

I love mountains, rainy days, and sitting by the campfire. 

Our family recently relocated to the PNW and we have been enjoying finding new nature spots to explore together 🙌🏼

I can’t wait to connect and share all the things I’ve learned on our new journey! 

Just a Note…

Thanks for checking out the mom tips portion of the blog! 

Typically summer is the most productive time for my blog. However, our family is currently living in temporary housing and we do not see an end in sight (thank you housing marking 😪) — meaning my workspace & supplies to produce quality content it extremely limited.

I am still working, but it’s nothing like normal.

As always, we appreciate your patience! 

If you enjoyed this article or simply want to see more of our journey, feel free to follow us on social media for more frequent updates.

You can find all of our social accounts below!

FacebookInstagramPinterest

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook group too!

This group is open to all homeschool moms.

Whether you are already knee-deep in your homeschool journey or just dipping your toes in — all homeschool moms are welcome!

Looking forward to connecting! Simply Be Wild & Free Life + Homeschool Blog

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Connect with our brand on social media and join our homeschool group on Facebook!

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Meet the Author

Life & Homeschool Author

Hey guys! I’m Mary, homeschool mom of 3 amazing kiddos.

I’m so excited that you decided to check out my little corner of the world!

If you have been following our journey for any length of time, you already know that I’m obsessed with coffee, organization, and all things simple.

I’m also a huge dog lover and introvert 💗

My homeschool style is very eclectic.

I enjoy a solid mixture of structure and free range. I set goals for myself and my children each week, but I put no pressure on perfection.

We use a wide variety of curriculum in our home.

Some of our current favorites are The Good and the Beautiful, Life of Fred, Beautiful Feet Books, and Lifepac.

While my kids do spend a good amount of time learning at desks, they also spend countless hours exploring their creativity and practicing a little independence.

I love mountains, rainy days, and sitting by the campfire. 

Our family recently relocated to the PNW and we have been enjoying finding new nature spots to explore together 🙌🏼

I can’t wait to connect and share all the things I’ve learned on our new journey! 

Just a Note…

Thanks for checking out the mom tips portion of the blog! 

Typically summer is the most productive time for my blog. However, our family is currently living in temporary housing and we do not see an end in sight (thank you housing marking 😪) — meaning my workspace & supplies to produce quality content it extremely limited.

I am still working, but it’s nothing like normal.

As always, we appreciate your patience! 

If you enjoyed this article or simply want to see more of our journey, feel free to follow us on social media for more frequent updates.

You can find all of our social accounts below!

FacebookInstagramPinterest

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook group too!

This group is open to all homeschool moms.

Whether you are already knee-deep in your homeschool journey or just dipping your toes in — all homeschool moms are welcome!

Looking forward to connecting! Simply Be Wild & Free Life + Homeschool Blog

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