Friday, May 15, 2009

Parental Problems Solved!

Well....almost. But hey, it's a start!

Here is what I am talking about-

My children are great little people, truly they are. But they had fallen into a bad pattern. I called it the

"Hey! Don't worry about it! Mom will pick it up/scrub it/put it away/sew it/buy it/pack it/tug it/tuck it/find it/remember it/fix it/take care of it so we don't have to!"

Gets old quick, no? Laziness is a pet peeve and kids who expect something for nothing work my last nerve. Gratitude it good.
My dh and I decided to install ye olde chore lists again, this time with better long range thinking behind them. Each child has several chores for which he/she is responsible. The chores rotate and change each week and I don't remind the kids which chores belong to each child. (The youngest one has pictures as well as words to show him what to do.)

What a difference in attitude! The kids are motivated and self monitoring! They are looking for additional chores to add, since it makes the list look "longer" and they then feel as if they have been more helpful. The youngest, in fact, is the best about checking his list throughout the day and making sure he is on track.

The oldest, who is very busy with a play right now, has even expressed REGRET that she has not been able to get all of her chores done but assures me she will "make up for it" on the weekend. (Whether or not that comes to pass, at least I feel as though she has given the matter a little thought! Much better!)

The middle guy, my pleaser, has been quietly picking up his sister's slack. I make sure to give him lots of kudos. It is heartwarming. And helpful! I am in a much better mood now that I am not cleaning up the same messes over and over with little respect or appreciation. Another great side benefit is that the kids are now saying things like, "Can't we just all use one glass all day long so there are less dishes to do?" and "Rinse the toothpaste out of the sink! It is too hard to clean when it dries in there."

Another added bonus? Less arguing. They have less time (or perhaps they are too tired) to bother yakking at one another. They still have a few minor skirmishes, but less than before. Hooray for improvement!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend! Until next time, happy crafting, happy parenting, and happy life!


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