Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chore Headaches Solved

Dividing the household responsibilities can always be a bit tricky.  Who does what, when, how often...Etc.  Someone is always feeling like they are getting the short end of the stick.  Is that the saying? Anyway, How to divide the work.  I love letting my kids be responsible for themselves.  I cannot believe the progress we have made with this, this year.  My kids are starting to get a little older and they really do get themselves ready and dressed without much pushing and fighting in the morning.  Well fighting with me anyway, fighting with their siblings is a different story.  In fact, I am going to admit that on a handful of mornings I even stayed in bed because I’d been up with the baby and they got ready completely on their own and out to the school bus all on their own AND not to mention that their chores where done too.  When our kids are responsible to help out and to make sure their part gets done they will strive to do it, and we are all a lot happier.  Here are some tools we have been using to help:

The Chore Wheel:  You cannot laugh at my shottie work, it was not designed for aesthetic appeal, however you crafty moms out there could come up with something a lot cuter I’m sure.  Please post a picture if you do!!!  I love the wheel we change it around (towards the sink) every sunday night.  So the kids have the same job for a week.  I have found that a week is just the right amount of time.  It is long enough that I do not feel like I am forgetting to change the wheel and it is not too long where someone really feels the agony of doing the dishes last forever.  Pick chores to put on the wheel that are age appropriate and that are daily chores such as feed the animals or clear the table.

The Checklist:  There are tons of things that the kids need to do in the morning that are not really considered chores but are necessary to personal health and hygiene and also to their environmental health.  I may have made that last thing up but it’s true.  I bought each of my kiddos their own checklist and I started them out small.  I hate those pre-made checklists with things already on them because first of all we are so excited when we first get them that we do it for maybe a week tops and then the novelty wears off and we are back to square one of yelling or forgetting etc.  So I made our own.  I wrote on the dry erase boards with sharpie so they could check them off as they went and not keep erasing the checklist.  At first I didn’t want to ruin their boards or not be able to change something on the list later on but believe me it is well worth putting it on in sharpie, you can always adapt still.  The major component to getting this one right is to start small put things on the checklist that the kids already do very well.  My kids brushed their teeth really well so that went on there, then I picked one or two new things that we needed to work on.  Such as picking out your clothes every night before bed.  We worked on the new items for about a month and then added items onto the checklist (such as reading 10 min. every night) as we began to master the new tasks.  If they finished their morning checklist they get to watch one TV show, if they finish their nighttime checklist then they get to have a night time treat.  It works wonders.  The treat isn’t extravagant but something small and they just finish then they get one they don’t or they take to long then they miss out.  They soon learn the tasks and they become habits for their lives.  I know I am still mastering routines so I need to remember to take it easy on them and give them the skills to master the routines instead of getting angry and saying, “I thought I told you to...” all the time.  In addition, I added a box for the kids to check if they checked everything for the whole day and I award them a dollar each week it’s done.  I love being able to teach the kids about money management.  We are creating wonderful routines with this system as well as acceptability and responsibility in the kids.

Home Blessing Hour:  This is one of the tips I took from the Fly Lady at FlyLady.net.  She suggests doing Home Blessing Hour on Mondays but since I am a busy mom and mondays are way too busy for it most weeks.  We do ours Saturday morning and this way everyone can pitch in and help too.  If you have a floppy schedule like my husbands job did choose a day that he has off so he can help too, but make sure to schedule it and discuss it at family meeting or it won’t happen.  Or if you like to do the work yourself schedule it when nobody else is around or when everyone else can be busy.  But it could be a good day to plan something fun with the family, you can tell everyone that if they all work hard for an hour cleaning the house then we will get to do something fun.  This is the quick cleaning day of the week.  The Fly Lady has other 15 min. deep cleaning tasks that she does daily instead of a day of cleaning.  So it’s a quick vacuum, sweep/mop, dust/polish, throw out old magazines/take out garbage, and change sheets.  Take about 10 min. each give or take.  I set the timer and go.  I made these flower pots for a pick me jar for church but they would also work great for chores.  Just put the names of the chores on the bottom of the popsicle stick and let everyone pick their jobs. Can you think of more ways to use these?

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