The boys have been unofficially doing chores since the day they walked in the door 4 years ago…I always made my kids clean up their own toys, throw their own trash in the garbage, put away their own shoes etc. It is inbred in my kids that they can’t transition to the next thing (eating lunch/dinner, leaving the house, etc…) until everything is put away in their room.
Many people ( including my own mother was appalled by this – the fact that I made them clean up from age 1 & 2) but oh well, I think it is one of the best things I have ever done because there is one room in my house that is ALWAYS clean AT ALL TIMES and that’s MY KIDS’ ROOM and when they had a play room that room was always clean as well. And guess who cleans it up…..Yep the kiddos..not the mommy!
This week we kicked it up a notch. I gave them official chore charts of things they HAVE to do everyday. (See picture below)
They get paid 10-25 cent per chore. They can earn extra by doing extra chores. However, they also have to maintain good behavior at home and at school. For everyday they have good behavior they don’t get any strikes on their chore /behavior chart…and they earn an extra quarter for the day. BUT if they don’t have good behavior they don’t get money and if they get to 3 strikes, they have to pay me 25 cent per strike from strike 3 on for that day.
I learned very recently that my kids are VERY motivated by money and buying things with their own money. I got part of my tax refund (minus the Adoption Tax Credit-still waiting on that) and I gave them $50 each to spend as they chose….They chose their purchases a little more carefully when it was their own money they were spending….and were very upset to learn when they ran out of money……(Light bulb) I then thought this was the perfect opportunity to give them more responsibility around the house (giving mommy a big break), teach them about the value of money and working hard for it and throw in a daily home school math lesson.
They are very eager to do their chores and earn their dimes and quarters (at least they are for now 🙂 ) They are saving to buy a DS or PSP or whatever those little hand held game a ma jig things are LOL
I think the biggest thing for me is going to be letting them do it and giving them time to learn how to get it right…SO often I want to just do it myself and get it done right and get it done fast…but I have to remember a little time now to learn will free up more free time for me in the future and it teaches them to be more independent and clean up by themselves.
Some of the things they have to do :
- Straighten their beds in the morning
- Wipe the table and sweep under table
- Wipe the toilet and sink (I’ll probably get the most flack for this one, but I am especially determined to make them do this because they go in there and pee on the floor EVERYDAY and I was sick of cleaning it up. SO I went and got some clOrOx wipes and it is now their DAILY job to wipe the toilet and around the toilet and the sink – INSTEAD OF ME)
- Put away their jackets, shoes, and bookbags
- Put away all toys before a transition
- Hang up their own clothes
- and a few more)
Simplifying Our Lives
Also in an effort to further simplify our lives, I have made myself a chore chart, and going to start monthly menu planning and ALSO making a daily/weekly schedule.. I used to do this back in the day when the boys first came home and I had up to 5 kids at one time
I am also going back to picking clothes out for the whole week and putting them in a hanging closet by day, so the boys will automatically know what they are wearing everyday.. See the picture below..
I already feel some relief in simplifying my life…..Which is good..so things will be going more smoothly when Baby “Stitster” finally gets to come home (whenever that is)
How old were your kids when they started officially doing chores?
Did you pay them with money or some other type of reward?
What are some of the ways you simplify your life?