Monday, April 1, 2013

Update: Workin' It, Still Workin'

A little more than a month ago I decided to take charge of my house & put together a chore system for my kids that works. Instead of chores, I was hoping to establish "habits" that would continue without needing to be monitored by me. You can read about it here. Five weeks later, I'm happy to announce that it STILL WORKS! (whoop, whoop, picture me raisin' the roof)

Now, I am not one to toot my own horn but I'm pretty darn happy with the fact that I'm able to follow through with this 5 weeks later, with little to no effort on my part. Parenting is major hard work so I can find a way to lighten my load I'm going to celebrate it. Preferably, with something chocolate & in the privacy of my own laundry room where I do not have to share with anyone ;) Please, like you've never locked the door & shoved your face into something delicious. I digress. 

 Here are a few observations along the way:

It Works Because...

I don't have to maintain it. 

It's there, posted every morning & I don't have to do anything- literally. I do my morning check of the "did you's" (i.e. did you brush your teeth, change your underwear, make your bed, do your job for today) & we go on about our day. Done & done.

We established the routine right way. 

During the 1st few weeks, I stood over them & make sure they did everything the way I wanted it to be done. I observed sink & toilet wiping, bed stripping, etc. We made sure they were stocked with the supplies they needed. We observed the hard & fast rule of being strict about it at first. They had to do each chore each morning those first few weeks. Now, we're at the point that if we have a crazy morning I'll sometimes let them do their job after school, but 95% of the time I stick to the routine. 

Their jobs are easy.

I gave the boys jobs that they can do. Easy as that. The jobs are quick, they take very little time if they stay focused. The expectations are reasonable according to their ages. It's simple & I've found that in parenting, less is definitely more. 

The Hiccups...

Of course, nothing is perfect or absolute. There is always something that happens along the way!

You've gotta get your butt out of bed.

in time to do your work! My biggest hang up is getting everyone moving the morning. Period. Myself included. I am not a morning person. I value every ounce of sleep I can squeeze in those last few minutes of a peaceful morning. I know exactly what time everyone needs to be moving in order to get on that bus. Sometimes you run late, & anyone with a child over the age of 2 knows that kids don't move fast. There is noooo concept of hurry until you reach a certain age. And no, I have no idea what age that is because we're not there yet. I hold onto the fact that we have to be close!

We forget to pay them.

AND they don't seem to care. WHAT? I know, not normal. We'll get subtle reminders or a "you didn't pay us last week." So, sometimes our paydays are a little larger. Whatever. NO ONE had better teach them about interest...

You don't mess with the chore habit charts.

Do not even think about adding to the chart. I don't mean additional chores. I mean, embellishments, like stickers or art work. Sometimes little brothers like to make things nicer... guess some art is only valuable to the artist. Unwanted art has been known to incite a riot. You've been warned. 

So, What's next?

After much careful thought & consideration, I've decided to keep it simple. After all, less is more, right? I've compiled a list of basic chores that the boys can do if they decide they'd like to earn extra cash. Each job pays 25 cents. What's on my list? Things like vacuuming, dusting, drying dishes, wiping off the table. Things that I normally would have made "chores" and things that I'd have to somewhat maintain. Things are that nice to have done for me but that are optional- taking out my extra job of having to make sure it gets done. 

I've come up with a super-awesome way of charting which chores each child has done. Wanna see it?

I worked really hard at hanging that on my refrigerator. Don't judge.

The plan is to write down each child's initial each time he does an extra chore. On payday, I'll total up the initials & pay each child accordingly. Then, I'll tear off that piece of paper & start again the next week. Or the next time I remember to pay them. We've established I'm not good at this. See above.

That's it. Less is more. Say it with me. Less IS more. 

Let's simplify. We're busy enough.

Do you have a chore system that works for you? I'd LOVE to see it & share it! Email, tweet or share it below!
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  1. We're in week 2 of this and I love it! Braden seems to kind of enjoy the responsibility and of course receiving the money. He loves doing "bonus chores" to get more money too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Thanks for reading :)
    So glad it's working for you. Keep me posted!


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