Monday, October 24, 2011

The Chores We Do of a Saturday Morning

If you've ever wondered how large families keep up with all the tasks that need accomplishing, here's how one mom, namely myself, does it. Let me explain something first. On Saturdays we have three types of chores: family chores, personal chores and consequence chores. Family chores encompass the common areas, such as living areas, bathrooms and the like, and personal chores include anything the kids messed up themselves, such as their bedrooms, bathrooms and dirty laundry. Consequence chores are jobs I've assigned as punishment for not doing assignments throughout the week or for unacceptable behavior, such as being disobedient, name-calling, and such. For more about that, you can go HERE if you'd like.

As you'll see, doing the family chores isn't that big of a deal. Each child is assigned only three chores, which can be finished in our to two hours. Personal chores, if they are kept up on all week, are manageable as well. It's the consequence chores that have been creating a problem for the kids in recent weeks.

One reason the kids accumulate consequence chores on Saturday is because they often do not do their one morning chore. Each child is assigned a quadrant of the kitchen to clean before they leave for school, which chore takes about ten minutes, but since the beginning of this school year, which was when I implemented the kitchen clean-up tasks, the kids have not organized their time in order to accomplish their jobs. Thus, each time they shirk their responsibilities, I do their parts of them, but then add two consequence chores to the Saturday chore list. This makes them pay me back for the time I spent in the kitchen, and it also gives them an extra chore to help remind them to improve.

I suppose when you see the chore list, you're either going to cheer for me, and thank me for being such an inspiration, or you're going to want to report me to child protective services. Anyways, this is it....

K - the 16-year-old girl
R - the 15-year-old boy
L - the 11-year-old boy
C - the 9-year-old girl
CC - Consequence Chore

Family Chores:

K Deep clean living room
R Deep clean dining room
C Deep clean hallways
L Deep clean entryway
K Deep clean big bathroom
R Deep clean green bathroom
L Deep clean game room
C Deep clean basement halls and food area
R Deep clean theater
K Deep clean music room
L Pick up stuff outside in play-place
C Pick up toys and trash in backyard, patio and basketball court area

Personal Chores:

-Deep clean bedrooms
-Deep clean bathrooms
-Fold nad hang up laundry
-Practice Piano
-Make your basketball shots (This is important because basketball is a big deal here, and if the kids aren't good at it, they aren't going to want to be involved. Conversely, if they are skilled shooters, they will enjoy being on the team, and going on trips, and basketball will be fun for them. Practicing something is almost never fun, but once you get good, it pays off.)

And just for fun, here's a list of my Saturday morning chores...

-Deep clean my bathroom
-Deep clean my bedroom
-Wash and hang laundry (usually 3 to 5 loads)
-Put away all laundry
-Get my church clothes ready
-Get kids' church clothes ready
-Plan and prepare Saturday and Sunday meals
-Organize something that has been neglected during the week

Consequence Chores:

R CC (Not sweeping kitchen part, Mon.) Clean white fridge
R CC ( " ) Organize, sweep and mop food storage room
L CC (Leaving beach towel on floor) Deep clean twins' room (He wrote here, "That wasn't me.")
K CC (Not getting ride to school, Mon.) Clean silver fridge (She wrote here, "What the heck?")
C CC (Not doing kitchen part, Mon.) Organize playroom
C CC ( " ) Sweep and dust mop playroom
C CC (Not doing kitchen part, Tues.) Deep clean 5-year-old's room
C CC ( " ) Windex inside and outside french doors
L CC ( " ) Clean kitchen cabinets for 15 minutes (He wrote, "I did.")
L CC ( " ) Clean trashcan, inside and out (He wrote, "I did.")
C CC (For arguing when I asked you not to) Clean wall behind high chair
K CC (Not doing kitchen part, Tues.) Make something good to eat
K CC ( " ) (I actually forgot to write something in this space. She got lucky.)
R CC (Not doing kitchen part, Tues.) Clean out fireplace in kitchen
R CC ( " ) Fill all fireplaces with wood
C CC ( " ) Babysit Baby Hippo for 20 minutes
C CC ( " ) "
R Just a reminder that you are grounded because you were suspended from school for a day for not having a school logo patch on your jacket.
R CC (For hanging out at the store after football when I asked you not to) Iron Baby Hippo's church outfit
The 11-year-old boy wrote this... "MOM MAKE FIRES IN THE MORNING"
L CC (For arguing when I asked you to stop) Babysit Baby Hippo for 20 minutes
K CC (Not doing kitchen part, Thurs.) Iron twin church outfit
K CC ( " ) "
C CC ( " ) Find twins church shoes
C CC ( " ) Windex all silver appliances
L CC (Leaving blanket in kitchen, Thurs.) Vacuum playroom stairs
R CC (Not doing kitchen part, Fri.) Sweep and mop laundry room, including under baskets and hampers)
R CC ( " ) Iron 5-year-old's church outfit
C CC ( " ) Deep clean broom closet
C CC ( " ) Vacuum basement stairs

These chores the children must finish before they can play outside, have friends over, use any media, or go anywhere. Every Sunday we talk about how we can avoid these consequence chores, so we'll see if yesterday's talk had any effect at all.

So what do you think of this? Am I Nazi or am I teaching the kids responsibility the right way? By the way, assigning consequence chores keeps me from nagging and yelling at my kids, something I've struggled with since they came into this world. I've found that if I simply say to my kids that they just earned a consequence chore, quietly go to my notebook and write it down, and wait for Saturday to come, I don't lose my cool. It really works.

One more thing.... You may ask why I save all the chores up for Saturday. The answer is because we are so busy during the week with a few afternoon chores, homework, extracurricular activities, and trying to have family dinners together, there is simply no time.

Anyways, I know this post was somewhat disjointed, but it's up, and thanks for listening! :)

And here's Linky! Thanks so much for your visits and links and have a wonderful Homemaker Monday!


Amanda @ Traditional Foods said...

Thanks for hosting! I posted a recipe for curried pumpkin soup, a great fall soup.

Expat Mom said...

I love the idea of consequence chores! I always hated chores as a kid, but think it's important for children to learn responsibility and how to do things on their own. Their moms won't be there to cook and clean forever, after all!

Laurie said...

I think you should earn the Mother of the Year award. Bravo for you! I don't think I would have been consistent and organized enough to follow through with all of that, but I think it's brilliant!

Lisa @ Flour Me With Love said...

I recently found your site and I love all your wonderful ideas! I linked your party on my party page too :)

lindakredd said...

You are teaching them the right way. They will thank you for it.

Jeanette said...

I keep trying to come up with more chores for my kids--I think it's super important.

Christine said...

I whole-heartedly agree with you about writing things down instead of nagging. I used to stew all day while the kids were at school, then get all over them when they got home. A happy home it wasn't. I now write down everything I find that they left out or didn't do. They check the list after their animal chores each day. Much, much less nagging around here, and much happier afternoons.
Thanks for always giving us great ideas!