Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's Not Just About Chores

Our family has handled chores many different ways over the years.  We have used charts, popsicle sticks, consequences, rewards and money to assign chores and motivate completion.  My husband comes from a background where he had to work (hardcore) as long as he could remember and was sometimes (rarely) compensated.  I, on the other hand, was never expected to do anything.  I was SPOILED and our family is still suffering the consequences.  After I was married I learned to cook, sew and complete projects around the house.  I'm still learning to be organized and tidy, much to the dismay of my dear husband.  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 1 Corinthians 13:11

Because of my upbringing, we have always sought to equip our kids with life skills such as cooking and cleaning.  Kids have a desire to learn and I want to capitalize on that eagerness.  I also believe it is best for them to contribute to the household responsibilities. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. Ecclesiastes 4:9

Our current system looks something like a calendar, except it is an exact 28 days (4 weeks).  Every box has a list of chores to be accomplished on that day.  There are only four chores on Sunday (load/unload dishwasher, feed the animals, empty the litter box, and empty the trash).  Those chores are done every day.  Other weekly and monthly responsibilities are distributed throughout the other six days each week - things such as dusting, sweeping, mopping, watering plants, etc.  Each child (an mom) is assigned a color and I color-code the chores each day to help us keep track of who does what. But all things should be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40

While the chores and responsibility are important to me, there is much more going on when I assign the chores.  The chore assignments have become a reward in themselves.  Our kids struggle with getting out of bed on time, so sometimes I let the children who are up first choose their chores.  Other times, like tonight, I asked the kids whom they think should be able to choose first.  It is good for our kids to recognize the good in each other.  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Our son was nominated by his sisters, one because his birthday is coming up and the other because boys always have to let girls go first and she wanted him to have a chance at being first.  It was funny to me because I would have chosen him because he was the first to complete his chores and schoolwork today.

The other thing I let the kids do sometimes is trade chores.  This gives them experience in bargaining, compromising and being persuasive.  One also had to face the reality of being told "no, thank you" when the other decided that what she had was better than what she was being offered.  Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment... 1 Timothy 6:6

When we set out to teach our kids to do chores, we never anticipated it would end up being about so much more!

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