I am a mom, maybe not in the traditional sense of the word. My stepfather passed away when my brother and sister were very young, 1 and 3. I stepped up to help my mom, as she had and still has, a full time job as a nurse practitioner. My siblings are in school but, like all kids, are a handful when they get home…especially when they break out the toys. As a way to alleviate my own stress which included doing pretty much everything and constantly cleaning up after them, I decided to implement a change:
I had them do chores.
This was major for me. We bought a magnetic chore chart to keep track of their progress and agreed they would get paid at the end of the week for the chores they completed. It’s been extremely helpful! The benefit is not only in the help I get from them around the house, but also in building their character and a sense of responsibility.
For example, some of the more expensive toys they want, they pay for with birthday, Christmas, and chore money. It makes them feel more accomplished. Earning money brings a sense of freedom. Instead of asking for money AND a ride they only have to ask for a ride. They avoid the dreaded “No” response to unearned spending money. Chores have instilled appreciation towards their toys as they spend their hard earned money and learn to take care of their belongings. My sister has gotten to where she starts her chores the second she gets home! UNBELIEVABLE. None of her chores are very time consuming or hard (according to me and EVEN her) so she doesn’t feel like it’s a “job”. Some of her chores include:
- feed the dogs
- give dogs water
- place her toys in her toy storage solution AKA Stowey Joey Bag
- do homework, and
- clean up after themselves when they eat
It bestows a sense of achievement and a better understanding of what it means to be a family unit .