All the single parents! Remember this:

Single parents have additional challenges as they implement a chores system with their kids because there are usually significant inconsistencies between the two homes. Do your kids give you an attitude when they come back to your home? Are there different expectations at your ex's house for their involvement in household cleaning, keeping their room tidy, even doing homework?

Creating routines is key in any family, but when there are two separate households, it's even more important to create a predictability and consistency.

The next time you get frustrated, remember the serenity prayer:

Accept the things you cannot change; Change the things you can; Have the wisdom to know the difference.

This adage can save your sanity. There are many things about which you and your ex may need to be unified, but how you handle kid responsibilities in each home is not one of them. Take a “my house, my rules” approach and you'll be better off than if you try to influence what is or is not happening in your ex's house. This "Love and Logic" style of parenting can shut down kid manipulation, that looks something like: “But Mom/Dad never makes me do that!” Sound familiar?

Step 1: Establish your own family rules for YOUR home, if you haven't yet. Include your kids in this discussion to encourage their active involvement

Step 2: Have a family meeting with your kids to identify household chores in YOUR home

Step 3: Delegate chores and clarify expectations in YOUR home

Step 4: When the inevitable push-back comes, take a deep breath and say, “this is how we do it in our home.”

If you are clear, calm and consistent about these four simple steps, eventually your kids will understand the different expectations in the different homes. In that way it's no different than an intact family establishing a chores routine for the first time—consistency is key.

Single parents can maintain control over their own home and the people in it. If you're a single parent, establish your rules and remember what you can and can't control inside and outside your home. When you are consistent, you teach your kids that your home is a comfortable, safe place, and it strengthens your family, regardless of what takes place in the other household.

Go to Organized Home from Single Parents