Kids & Chores - Does It Have To Be A Fight? (Part I)

>> Friday, January 30, 2015

But let's face's a fight.  It's a struggle.  Heck - I don't like to do my OWN chores, so is it fair for me to expect my kids to like to do their chores too?

But let's be real.  Fight or no fight -- they have to get done.

It's taken me a long time to find something that truly works for our family.  We've tried poster board charts, magnetic charts, smiley faces, name it, we tried it.  We also made mistakes about "allowances" and what exactly we were "paying" the girls to do.

Instead of making one big blog post about how we do chores in our home, I decided to break it out into a couple different blog posts -- Family Expectations, Chores and Allowances, Take-Away Box and Extra Chores.

Today's post is about Family Expectations.

When the girls were old enough to start helping out around the house, we had to lay out very clearly what they were EXPECTED to do vs. what they would be PAID to do.

Our feeling is that they are living in our home and are expected to help out around the house.  This is especially true when My Marine is deployed or has to be gone for a lengthy period of time.  When that happens, the girls know that they are expected to step up just a little bit more.

**Please keep in mind that our family expectations may differ from yours.  All I ask is that if you have a differing opinion and would like to share, please do so in a respectful manner.  We can all learn from each other!

So, here are a list of our family's expectations for our girls.

Make Bed and Clean Room:Bed are expected to be made before leaving for school.  Rooms are to be cleaned up, nothing on the floor, music & lights turned off.  They are also expected to make sure their rooms are cleaned up before bedtime as well.  Toys & clothes put away, etc.  We do allow for one FREE PASS a week -- meaning beds can be left unmade or they can have one night of not cleaning up.  Usually this happens when we have to be at a "before school" activity or the kids are being really grumpy.

Turn In School Papers/Do Homework:
After the girls get home from school, after hugs & kisses and "how was your day" and a snack, the girls are expected to unpack their backpacks and give us any papers they get.  This also includes birthday invitations, paperwork for before and after school activities, fundraising, etc.  My Marine and I both agree that if they are old enough to be in school, they are old enough to be responsible to give us their paperwork.  Miss an RSVP for a friend's birthday party?  Did you give us the invitation in time?  Miss talent show auditions or a book order?  We ask once, but we're not here to remind every single day.  And all the mentioned scenarios have happened in our home a handful of times before they finally figured it out.

Extra Reading for 30 Minutes:This may seem a bit odd or harsh to some people, or some may ask why isn't this a part of their homework.  Bottom line is that we are a family of readers.  My girls LOVE to read.  They can use this time to read a magazine, their Nooks, a book of their choice or we may read together.  Fortunately, this is something that we never have to fight them on and very rarely will they skip it.  They take great pride in coming to us when they finish a book and then ask for help in picking out a new book.

Pack Up For The Next Day:This includes picking out clothes, making sure they're ready for whatever "specials" they have -- gym, music, art, technology -- having library books packed, homework is signed and packed.  If they are taking lunches, lunchboxes have to be emptied and on the kitchen counter ready for lunches to be made in the morning.  I can't tell you how many times we've had a disappointed kid come home in tears because a library book was left at home and they weren't able to get a new book.  A favorite phrase in our home has now become "What did you learn?"
For the most part, these are the big "expectations" that are on their daily checklist.  There's also other, unwritten expectations such as cleaning up after yourself, feeding the dog (which they take turns), letting the dog in and out, and I'm sure there's a few others I'm missing.

What expectations does YOUR family have for your children?


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