My husband and I believe that children benefit from learning how to do simple household chores, despite their protests otherwise. After all, we don't have a janitor to clean up after us, like they would if they were in school and made their messes there. They learn how to take care of family items, how to clean up after themselves, and they contribute significantly to their family's wellness. They take pride in a job well done.
I've noticed that if we stick to a routine and are consistent with when chore day it, much less of a fuss is stirred up. The children come to expect it. We also prepare them for what is coming the next day as they prepare for bed. They know that after breakfast it is time to do our chores and that once they're done, they have free time. Here are some other things we do to take much whining and complaining out of the process:
~ Encourage singing or playing music, if that will make the time pass more enjoyably
~ Demonstrate how to do each task for the child and then give the child an opportunity to try
~ Recognize that each child is at a different stage of development and adjust the tasks to fit the child's abilities. For example, I will offer more help to Jaelyn when she is doing the bathroom than Nicholas, because she is younger. I will also gather materials for Jaelyn, while Nicholas is capable of getting them on his own.
~ Work alongside the child, even if doing a different task, to give the child the sense that we are all working together
~ Use products that will not harm little ones if spilled
~ Express gratitude and appreciation for the help