Chores. Ugh! About a year ago “we” (I use that term loosely) started implementing these dreaded things with our children. I made a list according to age and put it up on the fridge and told the kids this is what needs to be done when you get home from school. I say “dreaded” because of course the kids complain and hunch over as if in massive pain and I get to hear them say “dsjkf;oajerga nvboij!!” (…because there is no way to spell what I have to hear!) Although I can tell you the absolute first thing I hear out of ALL of them if I find a mess is, “I didn’t do that!” As if I am the one who made all the messes I have to clean up every day! So, yes this is dreaded for both parties. Here are some of the things I have done to make the idea of chores easier for all of us:
- I try to talk calmly and explain to them that we are a family that has to take care of one another and in order to be successful we all have to pitch in to make it easier on all of us.
- I explain that if everyone doesn’t pitch in a little then I have to do all of it—Emily’s, Michael’s, Natalie’s and Olivia’s—but if we all do a little then it will be done quickly.
- I talk about it ahead of time so they are warned and not taken off guard or planning something special to do before the chores are complete.
- However, what may inevitably happen are threats of grounding and raising my voice.
Each week I try a different approach. I have realized something in these several months, no matter how I approach this subject it’s going to be a struggle. I don’t want everyone to be angry and in bad moods but I am not giving up. I am their parent and it is my responsibility to step up to this plate. I have decided from now on to stay positive! I am going to play loud music, sing crazily as we all work on our chores together, and expect the worst so I can be pleasantly surprised. I love these little dirty buggers, and it’s definitely worth it!