Who is a super big fan of chores? I can do them and have fun doing them, but I am just as happy to skip them or let someone else have fun doing them. My kids seem to feel the same way, magnified. While I don’t leap for joy over dishes or laundry, I prefer them so much more over fighting with my kids to get them to do theirs!
We have had different systems over the years. The first week or two often goes pretty well. But it doesn’t take long for them to cut corners, do slip-shod jobs and to flat out skip the chores and mark them off as finished. When we get to that point, I really struggle with keeping my own reaction under control. We aren’t talking about socks under the bed, now. I am dealing with dishonesty. That is a big one for me. There are a few things in our house that are simply not tolerated. Fighting with sibs and lying are at the top of the list. I just have no patience for it.
Too often my response is avoidance. Not of the lying—rest assured that Preacher Gal is here! They hear plenty about that. But I do avoid the chore score keeping. We move along with relative peace for a while and then I get fed up about something and start a new chore program—and the cycle begins again.
The latest program is less about chores and more about money management. We are going through a financial overhaul of our own and hope to give our children a practical education in finances that will prepare them for real life. Enter the chore program. The kids have chores they must do as part of the family. Once they are done, they can do extra jobs around the house to earn an income. It sounds so cool and easy. We have all these pretty charts, organized banks to keep track of savings and givings, goals for spending money. So cool. We read these books and listened to these audio programs. So cool, right?
Wrong. I paid the kids the first two weeks less than half of the minimum we had allotted for them to earn. And I haven’t paid them a dime since. That isn’t to say they haven’t lifted a finger around the house in the last month or more. They have. In fact, they have enjoyed tackling new tasks for money. But the problem is that the chores aren’t getting done.
So now here I am micro-managing every step of these stupid chores to ensure they are getting done. The time it take for me to inspect each task makes the day longer and more arduous. We aren’t experiencing the joy and pride in a job well done. We also are so sick of chores that no one is particularly interested in doing anything extra to earn money. So, while the chores are being done now, life pretty much sucks. The whole purpose is completely defeated.
What do I do? I haven’t any idea.
On a lighter note, I can say that I knew going into home-maker-hood that I would be responsible for laundry, dishes, meals, budgets, correspondence, the family schedule and the like. However, there are some chores I wasn’t expecting. Like what? Giving a hair cut to the vacuum under carriage comes to mind…