Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kids Responsibilities

Awhile back I touched on our kids responsibilities and the fact that I was needing to adjust their chores to incorporate a little more since they both had birthdays. Well, it never happened. And since I'd been so busy getting ready for baby I had majorly slacked in having them do their old chores! I'd been doing everything....but it was time for that to stop!!! I adjusted their responsibilities and thought I'd share a little more about how it all works in our house.

I know everyone has a different system for managing their homes. Some people do a major cleaning once a week. For us that just doesn't work. So through trial and much error I finally found a system that has been working great for our family!!

We do a room a day. We deep clean and declutter whatever room we do that day. This way we only spend about an hour really doing "chores" and I'm able to keep the kids w/ me most of the time. Then on Fridays we do a general pick up so the house is spick and span for the weekend. Here's how it works:

MONDAYS: Kitchen (wash diapers)

Mom-rather than go into detail on what I do, just know I dust, declutter, mop, whatever needs to be done in that particular room! Instead I'll focus on the girls chores.

Suz-sweep, clean windows, gather trash from bathrooms, make lunch

Molly B-wipe down chairs, wipe down cabinets, organize shoe basket

Then we all do a quick run through the house picking up things that are out of place b/c of the weekend.

TUESDAYS: Bedrooms and kids laundry

Originally I would work on my room (at the other end of the house) while they did their rooms, but that wasn't working. #1. they were having trouble staying on task. #2. they were having trouble getting along! So now I work on Jack's room while they work or just stay in their room and monitor. It's a bummer to have to stay in there, but more actually gets done and hopefully the day will come where I won't have to!

Suz-wash and dry clothes, fold and put away clothes, pick up toys for the play kitchen, pick up toys in closet, vacuum room

B-sort laundry, put away stuffed animals, baby doll stuff, dress up stuff, fold diapers

WEDNESDAYS: Living room/Den (wash diapers)

Suz-pick up and put away any toys in the living room or den, organize tv cabinet, wipe down door frames, vacuum

B-pick up and put away any toys in living room or den, clean windows and tv, wipe down tables

THURSDAYS: Bathrooms and wash towels and bathroom rugs

I just have them do their bath room and I do the toilet and mop the floor.

Suz-clean tub, clean sink and counter, fold and put away towels

B-dust bust floor, clean mirror, fold diapers

FRIDAYS: General Pick up (wash diapers)

Suz-change pillow cases, pick up

B-pick up, help Jack pick up his room

SATURDAYS: Outside and our laundry

Suz-help make bread, clean out car, whatever Daddy needs done outside

B-fold diapers, clean out car, whatever daddy needs help w/

SUNDAYS: nothing!!! :)

This works so well for us. The key is to maintain the rooms that we aren't working on that day and make sure we pick things up every evening b/f bed (part of their bedtime habits). One other thing is Table chores. The kids are responsible for scraping their own plates and putting them in the dishwasher...even Jack. This makes clean up much easier for me. I usually wipe the table down b/c otherwise everything ends up on the floor! ;)

The kids also have what we call Morning Habits and Bedtime Habits. These are invaluable to me!!! It has been revolutionary and I love it! I no longer have to go down the list every morning and night, "did you brush your teeth, did you put your clothes in the hamper, did you......?"

The way I keep up w/ all this is 2 fold. Our little ring dealie w/ pictures is so helpful for reminding the girls so that I don't have to. They just let me know when they've done everything on their list. The way we keep track of it is a chart that I came up w/. Last year was our first year to use it and it was great but I was printing out 2 new ones every week. This year I got smart and laminated them! I analyzed why I wanted them to have "habits" and "responsibilities" and what I hoped it would accomplish. I knew I didn't want it to be for money but I think they need to develop a healthy concept of money and how to manage it. So, here's what I came up w/.

At the top of the page I have printed this verse:

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.

This was something I remember my mother striving to instill in me. I want them to do their best at whatever they are doing. Not to impress men, but to glorify God.

Then I have 2 columns. At the top of the first I have this verse:

Do everything w/o complaining or arguing...Phil. 2:14

Then underneath it are 7 boxes. These boxes represent responsibilities done w/ a cheerful attitude for each day of the week. The kids don't get paid for completing their responsibilities for each day, they are, however, rewarded for completing their responsibilities w/ a good attitude and not complaining. If they complain they do not get to mark of the box for that day. The work still must be completed, but w/o any monetary reward.

Underneath that is another verse:

If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. mt 5:41
I want my children to grow into adults that go the extra mile. In my family growing up we called it being an extra miler. Every time I catch them going above and beyond what is being required of them they get a dot in this box. Each dot represents 5 cents. The catch is that if they point out to me what they did they get my verbal praise and not monetary praise. This is to help get across the concept of not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing (mt 6:3) and receiving your reward in heaven and not on earth. Our hope is that it will become a habit to do more than is required and hopefully instill in them the ability and desire to take initiative and b/c I don't always catch them going the extra mile I hope they will get in the habit of going above and beyond not just for a reward.

At the top of the other column is a long verse:

As Gods chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity. 1 peter 2:9

I hate sibling issues. It absolutely breaks my heart when my children are unkind to one another and I absolutely won't stand for it. Underneath this verse is a long column of boxes. Every time one of the girls is unkind to their brother or sister they get a mark in a box. For every mark they lose 5 cents. This visual is very helpful, especially for Suzannah.

At our Feast Night the girls present their charts to Billy and he praises and corrects them accordingly. Then they add up their money and he gives it to them. We don't have our kids tithe, but it's amazing how generous they are. My hope for this year is that we'll be more mindful of using their money to bless others.

*here's their charts at the end of the day yesterday. Molly B is pink and Suz is orange.

Wow, that was really long. Sorry about that. But there you have it. Our little system works so well for us but there's always room for improvement. If you have any ideas that work great for your family I'd love to hear them! I'm always open to tweaking things to help things run more smoothly! I hope this encourages you to get your kids working! Teaching our children responsibility is an invaluable gift we can give them (and their spouses!!!)! Not to mention it will make our lives easier! :)


Jess said...

I think that this is a great system! I might have to try something like that out with Mabry. What age did you start the girls on chores and things?

The extra mile part is my favorite!

Neals in Nashville said...

All I will say is that you guys continually amaze me.

The Nortons said...

Stacey...these are great ideas! We have responsiblities as well and putting them in visual form is so much better! I think I am going to incorporate the habits as well...I get tired of running down the list:) We have just recently started the one room a day cleaning and I love it! Thanks for sharing and hope all are doing well!

Jessi -in love with her boys:) said...

Im ready to take some pics so just call me when you are ready:D

Jenny said...

wow-what age did you start having them do their chores?

TexasNeals said...

suz didn't have "chores" until she was in kindergarten. up until then she just followed me around and helped. molly beth started about the same time as suz just b/c she wanted to do what her big sister was doing so i started her early. i've been amazed at what she's able to do. i'll probably start jack at three. i think that's a reasonable age.


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