Tuesday, September 27, 2011

get your chore on

Rather, have them get their chore on. Yes, I'm talking about the kids. "They're too little", "They can't do it right", "They just make more of a mess for me to clean"... NONSENSE I TELL YA! I mean, I wouldn't ask my 2nd grader to wash the good china. If I owned any. She has already broken enough cheap Target bowls for me to take up the hobby of Mosaic making in my spare time. If I had any. But I digress, these kids are more than capable of doing something, anything to contribute to keeping this house somewhat tidy at all times. I am not a perfectionist, trust me, my mother-in-law can vouch for that. But, I cannot simply sit back and relax, too much, if my house isn't at least presentable at all times. Sure, there may be 4 out of 2,324 sippy cups we own in the sink. Yeah, that pile of ever-replenishing laundry is taking up half the couch. (Hey, at least it is clean.) And there might even be some dried rice stuck to the carpet under Emme's booster chair in the dining area. Who consciously chooses to carpet a dining area? I mean, come on! In any event, we always have people, mostly family, stopping by unannounced (which is fine, mom, I promise!) and I just want my stress levels to not get too elevated over something so controllable.

In comes the family chore manifesto to save the day! Okay, my day. I say family, because even though Erik works full-time and super hard, he still manages to keep our yards looking better than the abandoned-house look we were going for the first full year of our residence here. He religiously takes the trash cans down to the street for us every Wednesday morning. And sometimes, if its a leap year, he will even hang up his own shirts if he gets tired of perusing through the pile of clean couch-warming laundry I tend to overlook. (The stars have to be perfectly aligned for me to get any folding, sorting and stashing done. I blame the baby who loves wrecking my piles!) I do try not to ask him to do anything more. He knows the dishes shouldn't be his concern, he knows I'll vacuum often so our daughter doesn't aspirate on that dried rice I mentioned earlier. But this is a family home, we mess it up as a family, and we all have some sort of responsibility to keep it not just habitable, but comfortable and enjoyable.

This arrangement works pretty good. Chores are age-appropriate, and always reasonable. I even took the practice my mom used to do for my brother and I, and decided I would allow a rewards system if things went smoothly. For ours, I just thought of special, but realistic, rewards that I know my kids would respond to. Here is the sample of the chore chart and reward system I created for them.

Simple right? I only print up two weeks at a time so nothing seems overwhelming. They are asked to keep their rooms straightened up every day, so that task is pretty easy. Emme's "Diaper and Toy Duty" simply means that she collects the dirty diapers in a plastic bag for easy removal from the house and she is responsible for taking her toys and the baby's toys to her room each day. So far, so good. Oh, I forgot to mention I also added something to the Chore List Rules section, the one on our refrigerator has the words "No excuses, no bargaining!!!" penciled in. Just do it!!

1 comment:

  1. You always give so much of yourself
    To the people that are around you
    Adding a richness to their lives
    By all the things you do

    You have a special heart
    One that is full of caring
    Your heart is filled with genuine love
    A love that you're always sharing

    You're someone I can count on
    When I need a helping hand
    You're compassionate and loving
    You always understand

    I'm so thankful to have someone in my life
    Who has a heart so true
    Very few people
    Are as loving as you

    And I Thank you for the Wonderful mom you are and amazing Woman in Erik's life... Thank You;-)