Is it worth it?
Most kids hate chores, mine included. We've tried doing chores in the past, but I get lazy and don't follow through. Then the chore-doing sorts of fades out like a used sparkler on the Fourth of July.
Fast forward. They are 9 and 11 and I feel as though they should help out more. I'm not going to lie: it bugs the crap out of me to see them watching tv or playing the wii or fooling around while I'm busting my butt cleaning and picking up. I mean, I definitely do my fair share of cleaning, but shouldn't they help set the table that they'll be eating supper on? Shouldn't they empty their backpacks when they get home from school? Shouldn't they do a lot of things?
Instead of just telling them to go find something to do while I cleaned up, I enlisted the help of a chore chart. Ms. Chore Chart was helpful; to a point. I still had to put effort in to getting the kids to start and finish their chores. I reminded them at 7:00 p.m. that I'd be coming around at 8:00 p.m. to 'inspect' their chore-doing. And, when I came and checked and the chores weren't done, I'd tell them to come do __________ while I stood there. I didn't leave until the chore was done.
This last time around, we were off to a great start. They finished the chores everyday before check in time. That lasted about 2 weeks. Then they apparently decided that the $2/week I offered them for chore doing wasn't worth it.
What was I to do? I could make them and listen to whining and fussing and put lots of effort into nagging them to do it. Or I could just do it myself. It would be a lot easier. But, what would that teach them? Absolutely nothing. My purpose for chore doing is to teach responsibility and follow through.
So, I told them that the chores were mandatory. They have to put their clean and dirty clothes away, keep their rooms picked up, read, and do their homework. There are a few other optional chores that can get paid for such as setting the table and helping to clean up after dinner. My new rule is: you have to do the mandatory chores (hence mandatory) but if I have to ask you to do them or stand around while you do them, you don't get paid for it. So essentially, you are working for free if I have to tell you to get your chores done.
There have been a couple of nights when one or the other of the kids couldn't write their initials on the chart for chore-doing. But, those days are far and few between. I guess they appreciate getting paid for what they do.
And, someday when they have their own place, I'll rest easy knowing they are at least capable of cleaning it. Whether they do it or not, well, that's another question.
Click on the button for more ideas on how to get your kids to do their chores.