It's a big job being a single parent, on top of normal housework, I do all the cooking, shopping, playing taxi for the kids, etc. We all work together on a daily basis to keep our home clean and running smoothly.
My children don't have a chore chart, they don't have chores - and they never will. I don't bribe my children, and I don't demand either. From a young age they have watched me clean and pick up after myself and they just slowly followed suite. I may have to kindly remind my daughter or son from time to time, but they know that I expect them to help me around the house.
As a parent, it's important to me that my children clean up after themselves and now how to work together as a family. Whether it's putting their dishes in the sink after dinner, hanging up their school backpacks, cleaning up all the toys off the bedroom floor before bedtime, helping me put away groceries into the fridge/pantry or tossing their dirty clothes into the laundry basket, and so on - they do it and majority of the time with out complaining and with out expecting a reward.
Teaching my children to clean up after themselves also gives them a responsibility, one that I hope stays with them through teen years and adult hood. I didn't grow up in a messy home and they haven't either.
My children know that there is a place for everything and everything has a place. My daughter is a little bit more orderly than my son, for example: she likes her dolls and stuffed animals neatly sitting up, all lined up next to each other on her top bunk. My son however, could care less how his books are on his bookshelf, as long as they are all there he is happy.
Make it part of a routine - every evening after bath time and before bed, my children pick up all their toys and make sure nothing is left out from the day. I'm telling you, I really don't have to ask most of the time, it just becomes part of the routine. My daughter loves grabbing a cleaning wipe or paper towel and wiping down the kitchen table or cleaning off her art work desk - she thinks it so much fun to clean!
Sometimes I will just be cleaning away with out even realizing I'm doing it, it's in my genes I guess, I love to clean. Now my house isn't always spotless and never will be, I mean we do live here and I have two children. However, there's nothing wrong with it being clean, neat and organized.
Having a clean and well kept home shouldn't be stressful or exhausting, it may take some time to get there, but if you get everyone involved and working together as a family - it can be done! So how do you encourage your children to help around the home?