Thursday, May 29, 2014

Teaching Our "Best Organizers" to Help Around the House

I grew up in a family where the children didn't have to work hard. Or maybe that was just me, beings I was the youngest and all :) But really, I don't think any of us would say we were over worked. My mom was like me, having a child at her elbow helping with things didn't come naturally and often it was much easier to just quickly do it herself! She also was very soft hearted and felt sorry for us and many, many times she would trade jobs with us - "I'll wash the dishes if you fold the wash" or some such deal. Quite often she would even offer to do the dishes while we all played a game together! That was just mom.

My husband grew up being put to work! He declares that he wouldn't have dreamed of saying he was bored as a child because that would certainly have meant being put to work! Because of our different upbringings, he and I haven't always agreed on what should be expected of our children. I think I mentioned before how he informed me there was no reason for me to be doing dishes and set up a dishwashing schedule and, lo and behold, there really was no reason at all! They even handle putting away leftovers and clearing the drainer perfectly fine on their own!

I'm trying to be more "hard hearted" and get my children to do things instead of making myself frustrated trying to do it all. I still have a long way to go! The two oldest take turns clearing the table / putting food away and clearing the drainer / washing the dishes. The two youngest do a lot of picking/ straightening up. Other jobs the children often get called on for are - hanging out, bringing in, and folding laundry, sweeping the kitchen/dining area, setting the table, entertaining Charles, helping younger ones with drinks, etc.....

I'm trying to work on getting them in the kitchen to help with food prep more. This is a place where it's so easy for me to just quickly do it myself! It goes better if I make some sort of schedule/chart to say who does what and when. Problem is, I often don't take the time to be that organized and I tend to not stick with my own chart after awhile! :)

I've been trying to think what other skills my older ones should be learning.... I know Jasmine would love to learn how to sew, just not sure if I'm ready for that challenge! Doing the laundry maybe?

I enjoyed your input on the last post! You suggested rewards or special privileges for jobs being done or for doing something without being told, giving little ones specific instructions - "Pick up all the blocks. Then pick up all the toy food..."etc, rather then just "Pick up all the toys!" Something I've often done when doing a quick clean up is say "Everyone pick up 5 things!" and keep giving numbers til the job's done.

June is almost here and I'm moving on to another subject.... tell you more about it next week! :)


Carol Miller said...

I made charts for the children, every week we switch them out and they do something different. They are 10.5, 9, and 7.5 years old, they've been doing the laundry for about a year. One sorts, the next puts it in the washer, tue next into dryer (no clothesline :( ), and they each have their specific things to fold. Setting/clearing table, dishwasher, bedrooms, bathroom, etc. It's something I worked on for awhile, trying several chart methods until I got it right for us. And I've also got a price attached to the chores as a way for them to earn a bit of money. Occasionally, I do a "cleaning blitz" where I set the timer for 15-20 min and we all work as fast as we can to get the living room, bathroom, and bed rooms done before the time is up. They amazed themselves by getting it done in 6 min! :)

Bethany Eicher said...

Love these ideas, Carol! They really can do so much more than I think if I just put a little time into making it happen!! And the thing is, they feel so good about themselves when they know they were really a big help!