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Chores 101

Hold them accountable. Here is how: every time they ask for something from you, simply say: "When your job is done."

"Mom - can I have a juice?  Yes, when your  job is done."
"Mom - can I play on the computer?  Yes, when your job is done." 
"I'm hungry - is it dinner? Yes, come join us for supper when your job is done."

There will be a mess for a bit , but with time - repetition, consistency and mom enforcing the accountability this way - they eventually will come to believe it is their job, and its faster to just do it when you come in the door.

Consequences are an addition technique we should try to talk about for accountability. They tie freedoms to responsibilities. For example: 

"If you'd like to ride you're bike, you need to show me you can put it away properly. If you don't put it away ( be responsible) then that tells me you need to loss your bike privileges (freedoms)  so the logical consequence for not putting bike away is the bike gets out of commission for a day / week."

"If you don't put your laundry in the laundry basket, then when laundry day comes, those clothes will be missed and won't be cleaned (another logical consequence to help with accountability)."

Kids should be involved in making up the house rules and routines, if they get a say in it then they are more likely to do.

Let the kids sign up for their own choice of chores.
Chores should rotate (daily /weekly / monthly)
Kids should have some input into the ways they like to help out around the house ( might create their own new chore!)

For setting the table chore --- instead of nagging and reminding -- simply let the natural consequences play out...  Mom makes dinner - puts the pots on the table and sits down, and calls everyone to the table, and then they realize - without plates and cutlery you can't eat!!!  Ask who's job it is - they realize if they want to eat they best set the table - they are thanked for their help and they see how vital their role is ( without me - no one eats! I am important! )

When kids are younger parents need to be more hands on, more TTFT, more supervision, chances are using "marching boots" and "when____ then____ " statements will be too juvenile for teen! 

Older children will be very savvy at family meetings. Much better to use "social contracts" and "agreements" made at the meeting.  Ask the child " so you are signing up to take the garbage out this week,  What should happen Monday morning if the garbage trucks go by and the bins are not out yet? ( This is called a fail safe - its the child crafting their own logical consequence for accountability. 

Re-think jobs and division of labour together and get creative!  

ex) Maybe they hate garbage duty but would love to cook dinner a few times a week!!!! 
ex) Maybe they hate walking the dog, but they would  love to use power tools to build shelves in the garage. 
 
They should be doing more for themselves and others as they age.... Making own lunches, washing own clothes etc..  I have a list of responsibilities by age we could link to / or post on the website  - but give credit to Marion Balla of the Ottawa Adlerian Centre as per the bottom of the sheet please. I have permission to share it with her name attached.

For Home Responsibilities By Age:  http://alysonschafer.com/2007/12/home-responsibilities-by-age/


 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Marilyn Denis Show

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Alan Doyle