Friday, June 1, 2012

First Day of Summer: Scheduling Childrens' Chores

Today is the first day of summer vacation. WOW! Seems like it won't be long until August 15 when the kids go back to school and we have so much to pack into that time!


I guess I am going to have to make a list. Do any of you make lists and how do they work best for you? I always think I am going to and I think they should work. I have done things like create my own, hand write my own, look online for premade lists and forms, etc. It just seems like they never quite work for me! I look around my house and I see tons of things that need done. Then I look out the windows and I see tons more! Making the list is pretty easy, you look around and see what needs done and write it down. The problem for me is prioritizing the list, doing the "other" stuff in addition to the list (or I end up cleaning one area while another is getting trashed!) and figuring out exactly what I can expect from the kids! Let's just say the kids and I usually disagree on what they are capable of!


I also struggle with chore lists for my kids. Especially my oldest two! See, I think my 6 year old does need a chore list. She needs that gentle reminder of what I think she should be responsible for. However, my 12 and 13 year olds should not need such a detailed list and yet if it isn't that detailed they completely bomb their chores! We also disagree on how many chores they should be doing! How do you decide how many chores your children should do and what they should be? My kids think I give them too much responsibility and that I don't leave them enough "play" time but really I give them chores that I think might take a certain amount of time, say 15 minutes, and they can easily make them take an hour just by fighting doing them! They have not learned that just doing them right and not fighting makes the chores take a lot less time! Oh, don't get me wrong, I have explained it, many time and many ways, they just don't want to hear it!


I have a plan though for this year! I am going to schedule morning, afternoon and evening chore time. Those times will have assigned chores and random chores, meaning that things that need done daily will be assigned to one of those times and things that are larger projects that need done will randomly be added in there daily. If the kids choose to take LONGER than the scheduled chore time, they are cutting into their play time and hopefully having that written out very clearly will allow them to see that they are only hurting themselves, not me!


I have to admit that I don't have high hopes for it working! I also will say that I have been dreading summer. Not because I don't like having my children home, but because when they are home and bored they start fighting and turmoil reigns in the home! None of us like that and we have discussed as a family many ways to prevent that, but they still seem to thrive on the bickering! Does anyone else dread summer that way?


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