I am a mean mom. I expect my kids to participate in the chores that make the household run smoothly. My kids have daily jobs, like feeding the fish, cleaning out the dishwasher, or wiping down the bathroom sink. (after all it is usually their toothpaste gobs in the sink anyway!) Starting in September of last year, I even made my kids bring their own laundry down to the laundry room on Fridays and the rule is that if I finish the laundry and their laundry is not in the laundry room then they get no clean laundry until the next time I do laundry...like I have already mentioned, I am a mean mom! (BTW~ only Kezia missed laundry day this year and the lucky girl has even enough clothes to last the full two weeks because of hand-me-downs and the new clothes she gets of her own! But she never missed another laundry day!) I think it is important for kids to realize the work that goes into keeping the house clean and tidy. I want the kids to learn responsibility and I think doing chores is a good way to do that. I also think that by starting them young, and gradually adding bigger chores, I am hoping that I won't have the same battles with chores that my parents had with me when they tried to introduce chores when I was a teen.
Today, the house was in need of some serious cleaning. Between a hectic week of soccer, field trips, and the fact that I am still trying to get Kiandra's room painted before school ends, the house really needed to be cleaned. I first thought of making a chore list and then we could cross off the items as they were completed, but then I thought it might be fun to pull out the jobs and mix it up a bit. I wrote out the list of jobs that needed to be done like:
sweep kitchen floor,
wipe bathroom mirror,
shake out bathroom rug,
stack library books,
put away laundry,
organize Nintendo games, (yes that's regular Nintendo...almost ready for the museum, lol!)
clean toilet, etc
on slips of paper and placed them into an empty Kleenex box. I then added funny jobs like:
ring doorbell 3 times,
have a drink of water, (from our new fridge!!)
lie on the couch and read a book for 5 minutes,
give someone a high five,
give someone a back rub for 2 minutes,
turn your shirt on backwards and walk backwards to your room,
give everyone a compliment,
go outside and hop on one foot to the garage and back, etc.
to make it a bit more fun. I introduced the job box just before 10 o'clock and the kids were so excited to begin...who would have thought chore day would be so exciting for them!
The kids raced through their jobs top see what job they would get next and there were laughs and giggles at what they read on the slips of paper. Kiandra got the piece that said "Put away Kezia's laundry" which Kezia thought was a riot! Kaden got "vacuum 6 stairs" which Kiandra wanted to trade for her job because she thought Kaden was too small to vacuum but he pleaded with me to let him try...what child begs a parent to vacuum??!! lol! Kezia chose "lie on the couch for 5 minutes and read" after which she announced, "that was a waste, I had to wait so long to pick a new job!" So, by 11:00 the job box was empty and my house was clean. Having the kids occupied allowed me to start on the primer for Kiandra's room and I smiled and enjoyed my ingenious plan as I listened to the kids read their jobs out loud to each other. I may be a mean mom because I am using child labour to do chores, but I am a mean mom with a clean house!!