Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Year: New Goals

I've mentioned before that I don't do New Years Resolutions.  Resolutions are too absolute.  I will eat healthy this year! Yeah, right.  One look at the left over Christmas goodies, and you've broken your resolution.  That's why I do goals.  I'm working toward something.  I don't expect to have it mastered the moment I decide to do it.  

My goal this year is to teach my kids to work.  I'll do this through follow up and example. The example part is the hard one.  I told them that I would have the entire basement organized by the end of the year. If you've seen my basement, you'll understand why this is such a daunting task.  I don't plan on doing it in binge cleaning sprees.  I'm going to do it in 15 minute intervals a few times a week.  It doesn't sound like a lot of time, but it adds up.  You can do a lot in 15 minutes. (I must thank Flylady for that bit of enlightenment.)

I realize I just said that the example part is the hard one.  Actually, they are both hard.  I have to remember to follow up with my kids. I found a book on Pinterest called Cleaning House: 

A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement. It's a monster of a title.  Anyway, you can find it here if you're interested.  I really liked some of her ideas for getting her kids to stop expecting everything to be done for them. 

In the book, the author put a jar with 30 one dollar bills in each child's room and then removed a dollar when an expected task was not completed. By the end of the month, the children got to keep what was left.  I thought that $30 was way too much allowance so I went for $20. My husband thinks $20 is too much, but then his allowance was $1 a month.  I cannot believe he and his siblings did as much work as they did for such a pittance. (We grew up in the 80s and 90s, not the 50s). 

Anyway, we had previously been giving our three children an allowance based on their age and then deducting whatever we thought was fair based on the lack of work they contributed.  They didn't really care.  However, since we've put a bag of money in their rooms, they don't want to lose that money so they're more willing to do the work.  I've also explained to them that since their allowance is considerably higher, they'll have to buy some of the extra things I'd been buying for them.  I get them a certain amount of clothes and if they want more, they pay for it.  The trick here is that I have to remember to check their work.  O_o

We actually started this in December.  All they had to do was make their bed in the morning.  I even reminded them. If they went to school with an unmade bed, I took a dollar out of their bag. Then when they got home from school, they had to complete their chores.  Each kid has an assigned task every week day.  They have a chart on the fridge to help them remember.  If they didn't complete their chore, and have it pass parental inspection, they lost another dollar.  There was a lot of grumbling, but December was ultimately a success. All three kids are now making their beds consistently and completing their chores.

This month they have to make their bed neatly (I was lenient that first month on the wrinkles.  Baby steps), have their room generally picked up, complete their chores, and help cook dinner once a week.  It is a little harder for them, but they are doing it.  This morning I was actually able to get the vacuum into the two younger kid's rooms.  I am rejoicing in the cleanliness. Each month I will add something else to their list.  I haven't followed exactly how the book went.  My kids already knew they were supposed to make their beds, clean their rooms, and do their chores.  What's different is that I'm following up and there is an immediate consequence if they don't do it.  Also, having them help with dinner has been a learning experience all around.  I learned that my youngest didn't know how to operate a can opener yesterday. Now he does.

I'll update about how it's going as the year goes by.  I'm not including a lot of detail here because I'm not sure if anyone is really interested.  I guess I'll know by the number of hits this post gets.  I always welcome comments too. 

1 comment:

  1. Hmm Just remembering all I went through to get my little girl to clean her room and do chores. On second thought, perhaps I shouldn't comment.