Okay, I guess not.
Afterall, I'm in work avoidance mode as we speak.
It's Monday and I have a whole list of tasks to tackle...so why not blog!
A friend reminded me that she once came to visit from out of town and she couldn't get over the fact that 2-year-old Parker was "in charge" of unloading the silverware into the drawer.
When my kids were elementary to middle school age (and evidently before that) I always had a short list of items that needed to be completed before school or before they went out to play.
1) Make your bed
2) Clean your room
Those two were always on the list and then there were 2-4 age appropriate tasks like
3) Empty the trash cans
4) Organize the shoes in the laundry room
5) Put away the towels in the linen closet.
I would demonstrate how any new chores were expected to be done. And we all usually did our work together. Sometimes we would turn it into a game by timing ourselves or guessing how long a certain chore would take. Or we would work toward a common goal, like getting everything done so we could go to the pool.
As they got older, get ready..........
I had a TYPED list of chores (still only 5-6) on the computer!
I would open the document every morning,
tailor it to the day, print it out and put it on the kitchen counter.
By the time they hit high school,
they were in seminary and I didn't care if they made their beds every day.
I wouldn't print a list out anymore either.
I just hit them up with chores when I could find times they were home for more than 2 minutes.
And instead of outlining the chores like
1. Make your bed
2. Pick up all the dirty clothes and put them in the basket
3. Put the clean clothes away
4. Pick up the toys.
I could just say, "Clean your room and bathroom." By then, they knew what that meant.
Those explicit lists during the elementary years were just preparation so that they knew what was expected when I said, "Clean your room."
And although the chores were minor and sometimes didn't even dent my own list, the point of doing chores was to
1. Help them understand they were part of a family (something bigger than just themselves.)
2. Help them understand that they had responsibilities that they could perform even at a young age.
3. Help them become aware that if they walked in and threw their backpack down, kicked their shoes off, and left food all over the kitchen, THEY were the ones who would have to clean it up <- yeah - still teaching that one!
4. Teach them how to work and find joy in a job well done.
As they have gotten older and taken on more activities and part time jobs outside the house, they are still responsible for their rooms and some family chores like mowing the lawn or cleaning the gargage, but I am a lot more flexible because.........well, they've obviously learned to work, which was one of my goals........and they are doing worthwhile and productive things.
So, what is your work philosophy?
Here's the scoop from Stacy's house. She has three boys she is trying to train and here are her hot tips!
I decided to email this because I wasn't sure how long it would get.
I have just recently--as in the last month--instituted a chore chart. (Yeah, *totally* stole this idea.) We have "citizen of the household" chores--these are the ones which you do because you live here.
Things like: emptying the dishwasher (I don't make them fill the dishwasher because it's a stupid dishwasher that is difficult to fill), feeding and watering the dog, taking out the trash and recycling, and swishing and swiping their bathroom.
Each boy is assigned one or two of these for a week. There are others, like setting and clearing the table, that I assign as needed.
Then there is a weekly chore list for which they get paid. I've divided the house up into rooms and then vacuuming each room, dusting each room, and mopping the parts that need it. I originally had cleaning bathrooms on there, but that was too overwhelming--especially mine--so I've dropped it for now. If they swish and swipe every day and wipe down after they shower, it stays clean anyway.
Each job has a dollar amount. They can earn up to their age in money each week. This sounds like it costs me a lot--and it did up front--but now when they want something, they have the money to pay for it themselves. "Can we get a slushie at RaceTrac?" "Sure...bring your money." New video games? They buy them. Treats at the store? They buy them. If they get to where they don't want to make money, it's time to take them shopping! LOL
I've only been doing this for a month, but it seems to be working pretty well. Chris makes his $15 pretty quickly. He mows the lawn for $5, vacuums the stairs ($3) and vacuums all the rooms upstairs and that pretty much finishes his out. My two highest paying jobs are mowing the lawn and picking up dog poop. Both pay $5.
Just like in the real world, they have to do a good job on their chores. They can only sign up for one at a time and I have to inspect each when they are done. It *is* possible to be fired from a job for poor performance. The absolute best part of this little program was the very first week when each of the younger boys looked at me and realized how hard it was to do all the vacuuming and mopping and dusting and...and...and....
It's still taking them a good portion of the morning to earn their money, but they're getting faster. And...in the long run...they're learning how to take care of a household.