Chores, Chores, Chores
Well…it finally happened. Only a month and a half after I had planned it, but hey… Chores have been assigned!
I’ve always wanted the kids to have chores, but for years it did not work out. Last winter, I started them with chores, but they were simple, simple chores. Meanwhile, the house was not getting cleaned, and I was feeling wistfully sorry for myself that most of the other mom’s I knew had maid services.
But I really should not need a maid with four kids, right?
So…I finally decided: four bathrooms, four kids. Perfect match.
The new chores were presented yesterday. Each child is now responsible for a bathroom and a piece of floor. They also have a day to do this chore (Monday) and the added motivation of an extra dollar a week if they do the chore without being asked. (They also lose 25 cents every time they complain. The kids whining about the work has been the main agony about chores for me in the past.) This leaves me free to concentrate on the parts of the house they are not doing.
They also have a few other chores. Ping-Ping makes dinner once a week. (She’s a great cook, though the boys do not like the kinds of food she cooks.) Ro, Orville, and Juss between them need to set the table and get some of the trash.)
We’ll see how it goes.
(Did I mention that this was a terrifying experience for me? Really terrifying. But…it went well.)
Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon.
That sounds like a great system. You'll have to really enforce the rules consistently at first, but once they get into the routine things will go much more smoothly. I'm a firm believer in chore, myself.
I know other families who have lots of kids and a cleaning service. The kids don't have to do any housework, but they ARE expected to do an hour of Torah study after school, and there's no TV in the house. Everyone has to figure out their own system.
Right now, I can get my kid to do just about anything for a popsicle, but she's not very interested in money. I'm sure that will change with time! There are other things around the house that she is expected to do with no reward, like picking up her own toys, putting her laundry in the hamper and cleaning up her room. That's just part of being responsible and a member of the household.
When she does something extra helpful just because she sees that it needs to be done, I tell her she's my Mitzvah Girl. I tell her that it makes G-d really happy to see her honoring her parents like that, and that He's very proud of her, too!
I'm a firm believer in chores. Work builds character. If a child doesn't realize how much work there is in running a household, he takes his parents for granted and grows up with that entitlement mentality that it's everyone else's job to care for him. Besides, children who work enjoy their leisure time more.
I liked to do the five-minute pick up. I'd set a timer, and we'd run through the house like crazy picking up things out of place and just generally tidying up. If the children were enthusiastic and got into the spirit of things, it was amazing how much we could accomplish. Then, they could play games or go outdoors to play and have their leisure time. Once in a while, one of them would slack and not put forth effort, and I'd reset the timer and let them know that we could be at it indefinitely. It usually only took one more five-minute pick up to let the little slacker realize he wasn't going to get by with a mediocre effort. I always worked alongside the children--I wasn't asking them to do anything that I didn't do.
As for whining, that comes with children. Be strong! (And learn to tune out the worst of the grousing when it isn't justified.)