Now that I'm around the house more, I've begun to more clearly define the kids roles and responsibilities. I know this would have been helpful when I was working more. It might have even made it possible for me to keep my job but its awfully hard to enforce things when you aren't around. I found it usually results in a last minute, quickie attempt as your car is pulling down the driveway.
The girls already know what they need to do. When dealing with them, its more about spot checking. Teenagers are slackers by nature and their definition of clean and put away is very different from the rest of the worlds. Jim's a fan of making the kids clean their rooms before they can sit down for dinner. This is especially useful with the girls who tend to spread their belongings out upon entering a room. When they say, "my room is clean" we have to actually run down the stairs to make sure our definitions match. However, since both of my daughters do their own laundry, the consequences of it not keeping up with it are built in. I never have to nag about laundry and they can change their outfits 250 times a day if they like.
The boys have always had to clean their room and make their beds but this week I've attached allowance to the process. I'm trying not using it as an incentive. Instead, I'm trying to use it as a natural consequence, ie. this is your job and if you do a good job you will be paid for it. I don't want it to turn into a question of "how much will I be paid" every time they are asked to do something. Yesterday was iffy but today they are doing a pretty good job. I think they were wondering if I was serious.
The PTA at my sons' school is doing a book swap program over the summer to encourage reading. I think its a great idea even though my sons won't be able to use it. Its provided us with a great excuse to go through the kids' book shelves since the PTA needs donations to get the program started. That will be today's afterschool project.
Yesterday's evening project was putting clean laundry away. Somehow it doesn't seem as noteworthy as repairing the towel bar in the bathroom or weeding but it still needed to be done. The boys laundry gets put into a basket for each of them and they are responsible for putting it away the next day. If time permits, I have them take clothes off the line with me and immediately put their clothes away. It becomes a silly game. They try to run and put things away before I have time to take more things off the line for them.