Sunday, May 15, 2011
Do your work as unto the Lord....
I cringed as Noah practically 'threw' the dirty plates into the sink. I was just waiting on one to shatter. And I realized how I would have to rinse them all off later and load them into the dishwasher. But he was helping. He was doing his 'chore', and he was mighty proud of himself.
And it occurred to me that I've never really shared on here how our family does 'chores'. I realize that many mamas have themselves more organized than I might, or who have crafty 'chore charts' and such.....but I am simply sharing what works for our family. It's not necessarily the 'best way' out there, but it's at least one way. Maybe it will get your creative juices flowing on how to get your smaller children helping out around the house. Now, grant it, all of my kids are small, and I've never had teenagers yet, so that is a totally un-walked path for me so far. I will have to handle that new challenge when I get there :) So, anyway, here goes.....
Each morning, my older two children are responsible for two things---get themselves dressed, and take care of dirty sheets/blankets on their bed, and get them to the hamper. This is mostly an issue for Eli, who doesn't want to wear pull-ups to bed anymore, but still occasionally has an accident during the night. After that is done, they can come downstairs for breakfast.
After we've had breakfast and family devotions, then each child gets their morning chore assigned to them. The chore changes each morning, based on what I need to have done around the house. Usually, though, Cosette and Eli are responsible for things like gathering the trash and putting in clean trash bags in the bathrooms, filling the hand soaps, putting away any clean laundry, sweeping up the bathroom floor, gathering the dirty laundry, stuff like that. Noah often does stuff like put the breakfast plates in the sink, put the library books on the shelf, etc. They know to expect the chore assignment right after breakfast. I simply say "Eli, your job this morning is two fill the hand soaps.'', or whatever. After their chores are done, then we are free to start school.
In the afternoons, after quiet times, they also get an afternoon chore assigned. This may be a slighty harder chore, like vacuuming the living room rug, shining a window, folding some laundry, or drying some dishes. Noah's afternoon chore may be as simple as picking up some toys.
Oh, I forgot to mention that each child is also responsible on a daily basis to keep their rooms cleaned up. Cosette is much better at this than the boys----rarely does she need any help or reminding. Eli and Noah, however, often have to be reminded, and sometimes their room is soooo messy that it requires a mama's helping hand. But that's all part of training, right? I tell Eli "If your room looks significantly better in ten minutes, then I will help you finish the rest. But if it still looks the same, then you will have to keep working on your own."
And that's it----it's as simple as that! I don't give stickers, or money, or anything like that. (Not that incentives are wrong, I've just been trying to simplify this part of our lives.) They are expected to do their work quickly, right away, and with a 'happy face'. Sometimes there are also little things that I ask them to do during the day, like help clear or set the table, put away the school books, or play with Leanna while I start dinner.
And that's what works well for us. It's enough to teach them the value of hard work, and it's also getting to the point that it's also a good help for me too! Yay for big kids! I'd love to hear how all you mamas out there handle chores at your houses.....