Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Accomplishing Things in My Head

As the tag sale season dwindles in NY, here's a great article on how to spot a good used bike. It might help you spot an end of season deal.

There's not a lot of time to accomplish things today. Its not only Halloween but a half day at my sons' schools as well. I can't believe they made today a parent teacher conference day! I also can't believe I signed up for one of the conferences! What was I thinking??

Most of the things I accomplish today will be in my own head. No, I don't mean they'll be imaginary! (At least I hope they won't be imaginary!) As I scurry from one thing to the next, I'll be trying to plan a few things out. For example, the chore system that we've had in place for years is no longer as functional as it once was and needs to be revamped.

As it stands right now, the girls have the large majority of the chores and the boys have very few. With the girls out of the house more for work and school and the boys getting older and more capable, the boys need to begin to help out more. Up until now I've just been asking the boys to fill in but the response is often, "That's HER job!" I've grown a little weary of that response.

The solution is for me to make a new game plan, run it by Jim and then present it to all the kids at the same time in a family meeting. Then, there is the challenge of implementing the new plan.

Its interesting to me how each child responds differently. The boys prefer to have their chores written out so they can look and see what they've done and what they need to do. Rob likes to take it one step further and be able to check off what he's already done. Nothing is more torturous for my sons than forgetting a chore and being reminded it still needs to be done. I feel there is an excel spreadsheet in my future (complete with check off boxes for Robert).

The girls, on the other hand, hate lists to the point where they wouldn't even look at them if you made them. They insist they can remember it all and would rather have me do my best impersonation of a broken record if they forget. Yuck, I like lists better. I feel there will be nagging in my future!

Here's an idea I've been using for getting an unloved chore done. Biscuit is a lab mix who has enough energy to power a large city. Robert is a child with a similar amount of energy. Both can be destructive when their excess energy is not burned off. Here's my solution. Together, they are doing laps around the block everyday after school. The minimum is 1 lap but they can do as many as they want, providing its still daylight and homework is done. When Rob & Biscuit reach 100 laps, Rob's been promised a new watch. Running with the dog is a lot more fun now!


Chile said...

My mom's solution to chores was to make a chart each month for each child. It showed the chore, what day(s) it must be done, and a place to mark it off. If we did not do it, we got a "black mark" on the chart. Our weekly allowance was debited a certain amount for each black mark. It was a good motivator!

Ruthie said...

Wow I am so not ready to have kids. LOL

I wasn't really given chores as a kid. Sometimes I wish I was though, because maybe it'd be ingrained by now?

Katie said...

That's a great idea Chile.

I had chores as a kid and I'm still a messy person at heart Ruthie. All that conditioning gone to waste!