Friday, July 17, 2009

What works for us

I've been thinking about this post recently since its working so well in our home, and then a friend asked what we do for chores, so here it is.
I have a plastic cup filled with these labeled tongue depressors. They have all the tasks that need to be done around the house.

The thing is, due to my exceptional housekeeping skills, not all of these need to be done everyday. And also due my exceptionally poor housekeeping skills, sometimes these chores cannot possibly be done. When half of our house is spread across the living room floor, I don't really need them to vacuum it - I need them to stay far, far from the living room.

Each morning I pick the chores that can/need to be done for the day - and always in groups of three to avoid excessive fighting make it fun. Some days there's 12 chores, sometimes only nine. Each kid picks their allotment and then reads what they've chosen. I place them face-down on the table so its their fault if they don't get what they want - not the sibling-grabbing-the-fun-chores-first - and yes there are some fun chores at the Eisenhard House of Perpetual Cleaning. The rule is that if they want to trade, and both parties can agree, then they can trade to their hearts' content.

I pay them weekly for the way they've done their work. I don't aim for perfection. There is, however, a lot of teaching going on these days about doing the job well. I pay them for their attitude, though. The rule is that they must do their chores, like it or not, and if they do so with happy attitudes they will be paid.

There are several reasons this works so well for our family. First of all, I do not need one more thing to keep track of, so I don't want a "Chore Chart" that I have to check each day. And I can pick the ones that are needed for the day. I find that I function when there's some order (but not too much :) so when the house is tidied up, life is much more pleasant around here for everyone involved. I'm hoping its teaching them something along the way, too. And when they finish, they get to ring this bell.
Now don't' think for a minute that just because I have all these little people around that I'm off the hook. I have my own list of chores, too. I'd like to say that I pick one each day, but it doesn't quite happen like that. I think I've done three......since April.


Dawn said...

Thank you for posting this...such a great idea. I'm going to try this.

kristen said...

This is a great idea! Love it! Going to try it! Are you comfortable saying how much they earn? If not, that's ok. :)

Andrea said...

Sounds like a great idea. We used to write chores down and roll the dice. Each chore has a number attatched to it. No arguing with the dice. But now that they're older we have.....a chart. It works great for us, (I mean "me").

Lisa said...

Awesome idea Delena, this will be implemented in our household too. So know across the US someone is using this method, and applying the "Happy Heart" payment plan!! And seriously the bell is genius, you smart cookie you ;)

Lisa said...

Delena I hung my bell today, now to write down the chores

Miss said...

great idea! i love the bell ringing at the kids would totally get into that!

The think I like the most you touched on was the attitude part....that is the MOST important part to us with our kids. The could do a perfect job but have a horrible attitude and that is NOT OK~!

Alex and Riann said...

Great ideas!!