Wednesday, October 03, 2012

My New Chore Method

I just want to thank all of you that have sent me well wishes, condolences and uplifting notes. They mean a lot. We are doing better. There's nothing like getting your hair cut to help you feel better too. (Thanks Marie for the home visit! ) We've had wonderful people taking our kids for part of the day so I can sleep, with visits and phone calls from many of you. We feel so loved and appreciated.

Right now my husband is doing my dishes, while watching a movie rigged to the window from his little tablet. According to him, they are almost tolerable (like running on a treadmill), if you have something to watch. (So your lucky Amanda, he'll spare you having to do the job.) Unfortunately it also takes him as long as the movie to get them done... so I'm still waiting to head to bed.  So here's a lighter blog post for you.

Oh I love them. My kids adore them. We live for them. Yeah I wish. That has not been the attitude in our house. It has gotten a little bit better and I thought I would share my simple solution.  I have had a thousand different methods to getting them done. Chore charts, allowances, zones they were responsible for. You name it. The problem I kept running into was the arguing. "His zone isn't messy, it's not fair that I have to clean up his mess in my zone."  "I'm sick of doing the same chore over and over!  It's the hardest one."  I'm sure you've all heard them.  It also wasn't really helping in getting jobs done that needed done.  They'd be doing their assigned chores, but those weren't the messy areas or the jobs I needed help with.  So I changed my plan. So far it's been working out great.  So here it is:

I want my kids to get dressed and ready for the day as soon as possible. Make beds, pick up rooms, brush their teeth.  I don't want them in their pajamas still at noon. Which happens more frequently than it should.  I'd ask them to get ready and do their chores. I'd have to ask again, and again, and again... it was getting frustrating.

The next day I approached it differently. I declared that the first one ready for the day got to pick his chores first. The last person ready for the day had whatever chores were left.  These kids were dressed and ready in less than five minutes. They've never moved so fast. That's our new method of getting ready now. It actually happens quickly.

As for the chores... I now look around my house at what jobs actually need done.  I don't assign too many in the morning because I want to get started on school.  But if I have laundry piles, that goes on the chore list. If the floor needs picked up, that goes on the list. Only jobs that actually need done are on the list. I put enough chores on the list for 2-3 chores per kid. They get to pick which chores they would like in the order that they were ready for the day.  First one ready gets to choose all of his chores first from the list and write his name next to them. Then the next child ready gets to pick. And so on. The arguing has almost stopped. I now only hear complaints from the last person ready who didn't get what they wanted. It takes me explaining to him or her that they were up 2 hours ago. They could have gotten dressed and been ready before anyone else even woke and been the first one to choose. Instead they waited till last minute.

They now happily do their chores because they get to choose from the list. I usually have a couple of extras on there so that even the last person still feels like they have a choice. It's no longer so horrible to do the chore because they own it more.  Plus now the work that needs to be done is finally getting done.  If they get ready for the day, and do their morning chores then they can mark off their daily list to earn their extra money.

I've been doing it about a month, and so far it has beat all my other systems. Now I want to focus a bit more on training them to do a good job with their work and doing it correctly. How do you guys do chores. I'd love to hear any suggestions or tips.


Kellie DeMille said...

What a good idea!!! I am always trying to stop the fighting around here. Thanks!!

Aimee said...

Such a wonderful idea! I wish I could do that with my kids. Maybe when Macie is a little older.