Monday, January 13, 2014

Turning Chores into Wars

We are the mean parents who make our kids do chores.  For one thing, I learned how to cook and clean after I was married.  I don't want my kids to be that clueless.  If that isn't reason enough, I need help and I'm not afraid to admit it.  There is no way I could the schoolwork, cleaning, cooking and everything else done without everyone else pitching in.  So our kids do chores.  That doesn't mean that we all have to hate them.

From Monday through Thursday, our kids do typical chores - take out the trash, feed the animals, and load/unload the dishwasher.  They each have an assigned laundry day to wash their clothes.  This took some time to figure out, but it's so much easier to get laundry washed and put away this way.  The kids include their towels and washcloths and once a month we add their sheets and blankets on their day.  Friday is family laundry day for me to wash everything else.

Friday is the chore day that everyone looks forward to and it's not because anyone gets the day off.  On Friday we  have Zone Wars.  These are the chores that are more than I want to tackle through the week, such as cleaning bathrooms, dusting, mopping, etc.  Before we start, each chore is rated a 1 or 2 based on the time it should take.  We change up how we choose teams, sometimes it stays the same for the entire day and sometimes it changes for each chore on a given day.  Once the chores have been rated and the teams have been picked, a team chooses the first chore.   The other team must choose a chore with the same rating and I tell them the time allotment.  For example, one team chooses to clean the guest bathroom and the other team chooses to clean the laundry room.  I give them a time allotment, generally 10 minutes for a chore this size and then they run.  Their goal is to get the room as clean as possible before the timer buzzes.  (We've done this long enough that the kids know what I'm looking for, but I coached them when we started Zone Wars.)  When the buzzer sounds, everyone must come back to the kitchen table and wait while I judge their work.  They get up to five points added to their total for a job well done.  Points are awarded to the team if we keep the same team for the day and individually if they will be switching teams.  At the end of the Zone Wars, prizes are awarded based on points.  Sometimes the prize is to choose what's for dinner or what game we play that night.  Other times I have four of something and they get to choose theirs in order of their points ranking. 

On Saturday we do other bigger chores like cleaning my car or helping work on dad's semi and Sunday is a day of rest so each kid does one chore (load dishes, unload dishes, empty trash and feed the animals).

I'd love to hear how you get chores done in your house.

1 comment:

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