Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chores (Day 23 of 31/21)

I think most parents agree that chores are important for their kids.  It teaches responsibility and shows that it take a whole family to make a house work smoothly.  Plus sometimes it just plain helps get things done - of course when the kids are only 6 and 3 sometimes it make things take longer too.  I've never believed anything but that Cate should have the same responsiblities as other kids until that proves to be stressful for her.  She proves to us again and again that only she knows what she can do - if you try to assume she will most likely prove you wrong.

I grew up doing chores and so will my girls.  Mostly my parents assigned them by what needed done although of course we had tasks that were mostly "ours" in that routine.  We never had chore charts or allowance tied to that work - it was just expected and even though we might not have done it totally willingly, we also knew eventually we had to do it regardless of how much we complained.  My kids are at the point they actually want to help - well at least Lucy is, Cate doesn't want to leave what she is doing to help but once she starts she is willing.  I started a couple months ago with a chore chart.  They both were responsible for putting their bags on the hooks in the kitchen, their shoes in the basket by the door, feeding the cat (Cate - water, Lucy - food), and emptying the dishwasher.  Well the chore charts themselves have actually be stuffed in the junk basket but to some extent the chores or the lessons attached are still alive.  The girls automatically put their bags on the hooks, most of the time without me asking.  Shoes are starting to make their way to the basket about 50% of the time and it only takes a reminder to get them there the rest of the time.  (Of course it might help if mommy could remember this one as well.)  Surprisingly the dishwasher has been a task that has actually be consistent and well received.  I took a big chance in September and rearranged my whole kitchen to support this task ("Yes, I'm pretty sure I had lost my mind" post 9/17/12), so that the dinnerware was on a low shelf allowing the girls to reach it.  Well amazingly a month later that is still a good plan. 


So after a month, now all I have to do is remove sharp knives, put away pans and glasses and leave the rest to them.  They need very little help and are even starting to remember where the odd items go.  Finally one plan that is working and actually helps out!!!  Now if I could just get them to clean up that disastrous counter you see in the background of these pictures, maybe I could actually sit down before they go to bed.

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