Wednesday, June 05, 2013

I Am, Apparently, a Slave Driver

New summer thing here: making The Kids do chores each day.
I know, I know...some of my friends who are vying for The Perfect Parent Award have been having their kids do chores since they were toddlers. Those people probably have funny, adorable stories of their little dumplin' wobbling around with a dustpan and broom, diaper sagging, sweeping the kitchen in a darling, haphazard way. Or standing on a chair at the sink, elbow deep in dish suds at the age of five. Or alphabetizing the movies and CD's and arranging the books in order of genre when they were seven. And to those parents I give a high five. You. Rock.
I don't.
Not sure why I've waited this long, but I have.
Well, kind of. We've worked up to this slowly, I guess. Declan has been feeding the dog for years, and they both know to clear their places after dinner and wash their dishes. (Our fabulous dishwasher pooped out on us about a year ago and we've not ponied up the dough to fix it. Dish washing by hand, FTW!) They pretty much make their own lunch each day because, frankly, after a morning of doing school with them, I'm ready for some PLEASE BE IN THE OTHER ROOM time by the time lunch rolls around. They now have to vacuum their own rooms after they clean them.
The BIG thing was that 2013 was the beginning of The Kids Do Their Own Laundry, which was really genius! They each have a laundry day where they wash, dry, and fold their own stuff, and I'm left with only The Grownups laundry to wash, dry and...well...set on our bed till it gets moved to the dresser and then folded a few days later.
But this summer I decided that they needed to do more. Have more responsibility. Learn new skills. Plus, this leaves ME more time to sit on the sofa and eat bon-bons and watch mindless television. :)
I kid! I kid! I don't eat bon-bons! I prefer graham crackers and milk!
So, here's how it works:
Way Number 1: On the white board in the school room, I will write a list of things that need to be done. Then, they will come in and take turns choosing one or two, depending on how long the list is, and they have until the end of the day to get it done. Pretty simple! (I pick up the slack if the list is an uneven number.)
Way Number 2: On the white board, I write what each child needs to do for the day. For example, today Reilly has to finish her laundry from yesterday and pick up and vacuum her room. Declan has to pick up and vacuum his room and dust his room.
I've not heard too much weeping and gnashing of teeth...so far. I will say that, on Monday, Reilly had the audacity to ask me, "Well, what will YOU be doing?" *insert fairly snotty, almost-13-year-old voice*. I promptly launched into a looooong list of the things that I would be doing, which led to her eyes to rolling so far back into their sockets I thought they'd never return to normal. There might have also been some sighing on her part. I don't know. I tuned her out.
Anyway, we'll see how this goes!

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