Monday, July 12, 2010

Family Chores

Pesty Melanie here, and I think it's important to teach my kids to work.  Just so you don't think I'm claiming to be an expert at this or an amazing housekeeper, let me show you what we did awhile ago for our family night activity.  Some families like to hike mountains, some like to camp in the  mountains.  Well, we decided to tackle a mountain, too... this one:
I know, I know, what am I doing blogging when I have mountains like that in my living room?  I really should have had one of the kids stand next to it so you could really get an idea of the size.  I'm surprised anyone in the house had clothes left in their drawers to wear when this many were piled on the couch waiting to be folded.  It would have taken me all day long to fold all of this by myself, but instead, we gathered our gaggle of girls (I have 5 daughters) and got it all folded and put away in less than an hour.  Even all the socks from this mountain and the mismatched sock basket got mated and deposited into the correct drawers in that time.  I wish I would have remembered to take an after shot when half of the living room floor was full of piles.  I did make some chocolate cupcakes to sweeten the night and so I could feel better about myself as a mother.  It was my husband's idea, by the way... He was probably tired of searching through the pile for matching socks every morning.

How do you handle chores in your house?  I don't necessarily need to live in a museum, but we probably shouldn't have mountains of unfolded laundry taking up all of our seating space.  I am always trying new gimmicks and chore charts to inspire my kids to do their work without nagging, but none has ever worked as well as the one I want to share with you.  One thing we do really well is morning jobs.  During the school year when time is short, the kids each have one little job that they do in the morning before they leave for school.  (During the summer I fill their extra time with extra jobs.)  We keep track of whose turn it is with this adorable chart. 
I just love how happy they look to do their jobs!  The circle of heads is attached with a brad and rotates.  When we first started it they were so excited to see where their head was pointing that morning.  I always love the start of a new gimmick.  Now it has lost some of its novelty, but it's still working!  I have tried many, many chore charts in the 10+ years I've been a mom, and sometimes they're so complicated they take more time than they're worth.  This one is simple and effective.  What I love most about it is that it keeps on working without me having to do much of anything.  The kids can rotate the chart without any help, and the expectations are simple.  I think that's the key - simple, clear and realistic expectations.  I'm still not good at getting my laundry folded and put away before it starts piling up, but I am teaching my kids to be responsible for their morning chores, and that makes me feel good.

5 comments:

Rhonda said...

That is a really cool idea!!

Ramona said...

I LOVE this! I have a mountain of laundry right now too! This may be what we do tonight for family night! Love the chore chart too! Such pretty girls!

Kiana said...

Love that little chart!! My kids whine and cry. So I started a new "motto". We are Team Nafziger. I tell my kids that I am not their maid. That we are all part of a team and we will work together to make our house run smoothly. They take turns doing similar jobs you have listed above, along with keeping their rooms and bathroom orderly. If they are asked to do something else or they whine when they go to do their daily chores they have to go to the job jar. Inside of that are the jobs I really hate to do. I warn them once to stop whining before I make them go to the job jar. Seems to be working good for us! Thanks for your post. I really enjoyed it!

Laura said...

GREAT idea on the chore chart! I could see this working so well in a classroom also!

Shelly said...

Melanie, I love, love, love this idea!!! I am totally doing this. Be watching our gallery for my chore chart :)

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