Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pick A Chore, Any Chore....

"Doing chores is punishment!"  This is what the Girl shouted when we were looking at her new chore chart for the month of March.  "Doing chores is not punishment; they are a way for you to help out in this family".  Apparently she did not like this response, because I heard her grumble under her breath, "I'm going to find a NEW family."

My older two children have been doing chores of some sort or another since they were 2 & 3 years old.  Whether is was putting their toys away, taking laundry to the laundry room, sorting said laundry, taking trash can to the curb for trash day, or feeding the dog, they've always had some sort of responsibility around here.  Well now all of that stuff they used to do has a name: CHORES.  Now they grumble & whine when the mere mention of doing these things.

Want to know what my solution to that was??  I quit giving them chores.
Actually, I gave them more to do, with incentive.  We will not call it allowance; that will come later I'm sure.  Yes, I spent the better part of my day making, laminating, & cutting chores charts for each child.  We've got age appropriate tasks for each of them, with each task being assigned a point value.  If at the end of the week, they have a set upon number of points accumulated, they then get to choose a reward ticket.  If I catch them being good or going above & beyond at any point during the week, they may or may not receive a 'caught ya being good' ticket.  Since my older two are so competitive, I assigned some like chores & some different chores on their charts, with each of them having the potential points earned at the end of the week being a different number.  Hopefully, they will focus on their jobs and not worry about nosing into each others business.  I know that last part is probably wishful thinking, but hey, it's worth a try, isn't it?

Like with anything else, it won't work if we don't enforce it, so my husband has to be on board with this too.  He thinks it's kind of silly to have them earn prizes for jobs that we all should be doing to make the family unit run smoother (I paraphrased as Jeff does not talk like that).  However, he said that he will back me up if it means teaching  them to leave the nest so we can have some peace & quiet responsibilities for when they are grown up, then he will back me up. 

So, they've got their chore charts hung up on the wall, they've seen what the rewards that they can earn are (so bright & shiny, laminated on card stock), they are loving the fact that they can initial their charts when they have completed a task, & have been told if they grumble while doing their job, they get an "X", thus not earning their points for that task. 

At bedtime tonight, the Girl asked me if her chores would change.  I told her that we will change their charts each month.  I said, " you may keep some chores & you may have new ones added; it's all based on what responsibilities Daddy & I think you can & should be doing." 

She looked at me & asked, "what is your reward?"  I raised my eyebrow & asked, "MY reward?"  She said, "yeah, your reward; you do these chores all the time.  Where is your chart?"  I told her I don't have a reward chart, because I'm the Mommy. 

Her response??  "If that's part of the deal, then I'm not going to become a Mom.  Ever.  That's a ripoff!"

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