Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kid Jobs

I'll admit I have been very hormonal and moody for a few weeks, but if you ask the neighbors who likely hear me through our open windows, I am just nuts. I hate it that I have been a screamer lately, but the kids have just stopped listening to me. This week I have had the full blown flu, and tonight I finally snapped and realized something has to change. Cody came home from work and I was about ready to bolt out the door, just to get away from everyone. But I didn't want to do that. Of course he came to the rescue and got the kids to behave like good children instead of what they have been acting like for me.

Why is it that Dad comes home and can get them to do what I struggle with all day long? It's a mystery. Maybe he's better at this parenting thing than I am.

Tonight we had a family meeting and we talked about respect. We talked about what it means to work together as a team in a family, because that is what we are. We talked about why Mom has been so cranky lately, but of course the kids had no idea that THAT is why I've been so cranky. Hailey says I take cranky pills. We brainstormed about different jobs that all the kids should be responsible for doing. They came up with their own jobs that they can do each day to help me out. I like that it was on THEIR terms that these things were decided. They picked the jobs, and they are accountable for them. They each have a few of the same things as each other, and then there are a couple of specifics to each kid. This is what we came up with-

Ethan-
* Make bed (pillows and blankets off the floor if that is where he chose to sleep)
* Brush teeth (2 xs a day)
* Clean up own toys
* Put clothes away
* Clean and wipe down table before dinner
* Homework (on the four assigned days)
* Vacuum living room (M & W)
* Put own dishes in the sink after each meal

Hailey-
* Make bed (pillows and blankets off the floor if that is where she chose to sleep)
* Brush teeth (2 xs a day)
* Clean up own toys
* Put clothes away
* Wipe down kids' bathroom counter
* Clean up all books around upstairs
* Vacuum living room (T & Th)
* Put own dishes in sink after each meal

Lauren-
* Make bed (pillows and blankets off the floor if that is where she chose to sleep)
* Brush teeth (2 xs a day)
* Clean up own toys
* Put clothes away
* Keep all shoes in shoe basket
* Try to make poop in the potty (everyday)
* Keep upstairs deck door closed
* Put own dishes in sink after each meal

These seem like super small and easy jobs, but when I am the only one doing everything around here, it gets to me. They need to learn responsibility and I think this is a good start. We decided that at the end of the day we will sit down and figure out if their jobs have been done to an acceptable degree. If so, they get a sticker in that square. If they fill up their squares for the day they get five marbles for their *marble jar. There is a bonus job for anything above and beyond that they choose to do during the day. Help me fold laundry, clean a dirty spot on the kitchen floor, keep Devin out of my hair for a little while, etc. They get one extra marble if they do a bonus job during the day.

Tonight after we read our bedtime story, Hailey was excited to run put the book away because it was "her job". I hope this takes off like I think it will! If not, we'll go back to the drawing board.

*We started a marble jar for each kid, which works kind of like an allowance system. When their jar gets full, it's tradition to go to the store and pick out a $10 prize. However, marbles get taken out of the jar for misbehaving, so lately it has taken a LONG time for one of them to fill up their jar, like two months or more. I'm thinking about changing the system a little to teach them more about the value of money. With only marbles, they never see the exchange of money because at the store I always just pay for their prize with my debit card. Instead, I'm thinking that when they fill their jar, I will actually give them the money for their bank. This way they SEE the money and maybe understand more what it signifies.

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