Monday, July 9, 2012

My Summer Lifesaver

I was going insane.  Seriously.  No joke.

Summer was here.

My kids were at each others' throats.  My kiddos were being lazy, grumpy and just plain...unthankful.  At the same time, our house was going to the pits.  With the kids all home they were making more messes, demanding more of my time and as a result nothing in our house was getting done.

The stress level increased which led to more fighting, arguing and messes.

I was on a few different sites and saw that a lot of other moms were turning to chore charts.  (Thanks to those moms out there who put their info out on Facebook and their blogs.  So helpful and truly a lifesaver!)

I didn't think it was necessary but after having about 4 days of laundry sitting on our couch because there was no time to fold it...I saw it was time for our family to apply this chore system in our family. kids do a lot of work in the house already and I was already proud of what they were accomplishing.  As my daughter said, "we just needed something to help us stay on task".  Couldn't have said it better, Sid!  (Sid loves lists so chore charts just give her fuzzy feelings inside anyways.)

So...what do we do?
Here is a list of what my 10 year old does each day.

· Make bed

· Brush teeth

· Put dirty clothes in laundry

· Pick up room

· Take shower

· Brush hair

· Help clean table and floor after each meal

· Empty the dishwasher and load

· Use manners with everyone

· Have joy today!

· Read for 30 minutes

· Fold clothes and put away

The kids also get one additional job each day that I pick.  I write it down on a sheet and by the end of the day they need to have it finished.  Today's all of the baseboards in the house with soap and water.  The kids have already done the main floor of the house and did all of the cabinets too in the kitchen...and I didn't even ask them to do that.  

What are some other daily chores?  
  • taking out the garbage
  • taking care of recycling
  • washing the bathroom sinks
  • cleaning the toilets (Sid is awesome at this task!)
  • vacuuming
  • ...and some that are a little bit easier for Quinn (he's 4 and loves to help but can't do the heavy stuff yet)

How are the kids rewarded?  
We have a jewel system in our house.  Each jewel earned is worth 10 cents.  The kids can turn in these jewels at any time to get the money that they have earned or they can save it up and we will pay them interest at the end of each month.  We have used these jewels for the last year or so and the kids have earned the jewels for doing things without being asked.  I like knowing that my kids have learned what initiative is and this was a great way to start helping them learn how to accomplish these life skills.  If parents don't teach our kids these skills I'm pretty sure that they aren't going to learn them anywhere else.  

Now that we have chores added to our list of things to do each day the kids are rewarded with jewels based on the job that they did.  Did they go 100%, 80%, 50% or not even get some of the jobs done?  The number of jewels that they get reflect the job that they do.

The kids still show initiative as a whole...but now, they are doing it with enthusiasm!  At church, they hold the door open for people and actually race to the door to be able to do this.  At home, they start the day by knowing what it is that they have to do.  Usually they are starting their tasks as soon as they are done with breakfast.  I LOVE THIS!

Is my house ever going to be perfect?  Nope.  I run a day care and have three kids.  Perfect is not in our vocabulary at the Williams household.
Is my house cleaner now than 2 weeks ago?  Yes.
Are my kids fighting as much?  Nope.
Are my kids learning how to be responsible and learning to take pride in their work?  Absolutely.

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