Laura,Guest wrote:I also have 4 and 2 at my side. KellyBell, Can you tell me how you get your older ones to help you with the household duties? I love the idea, and try to enforce it, but... I feel like I am always nagging or yelling or threatening or who knows what...
This is our first year hs, so we have been working a lot of the gliches out!
It IS hard to get the older kids to pitch in as they should. We've used a few different ways to get them to do their work. Let's see. We've got a peg board with disks. As the kids finish each school subject, they pull off a disk. It's a lot like the Hazells describe in their TMs but we already had this in place and it works. Each kid gets a disk that says "chores" and then I have a clip on the board that has the name of the chore that they are to do. We've got wacky names like "Powder Room Perfector" for the kid who cleans the main level bath. There is the "Towel Trooper" for the one that rounds up all the towels and throws them in the laundry. When the kids do their chores, they hand me the card which means I can check their work.
One thing I read in a book somewhere is to pay other kids to do a lazy kid's chore. Let's say that Sally didn't pick up her room on time. Then, I'll pay Suzy a quarter to pick up Sally's room. The quarter comes from Sally's bank.
Also, my oldest has the nasty habit of leaving pajamas and yesterday's clothes on the floor. If I see them there, I grab them and sell them back to her (or donate what she doesn't want back) for a buck an item.
Another trick is that we roll the die in the AM when we start school. The "kid of the day" rolls the die once. Based on what number comes up, I spot check the kids for a certain thing (like having a clean school desk, a made bed, their towels hanging straight). Oh, the number six on the die is "God loves you" so if you roll that you always pass because God loves us all. Any kid who passes rolls the die a second time and can earn things like a piece of candy, have mom play a board game with you, have mom read a picture book to you, 10 minutes extra computer game time, skip your chore today, or skip a school subject today. This helps them keep up with the everyday stuff.
My kids like computer games. They don't get their computer game until they've done school and done chores. Then they get 15 minutes. Work before play. Although some days we are too busy to play computer games, a kid who has everything done can ask for a computer game and that's when I check to see what's done.
Sometimes we watch a video as a family at night or on the weekends. Before we turn on the TV, everyone must pitch in to clean up dinner and the family room. That motivates them. If they are too pokey in cleaning, then it's bedtime before we get a chance to turn on the video.
Oh, and there's always the rule that anything left out is ... MINE. That means I can throw it away, hide it away, sell it back to the kids, give it to another kid. It sounds mean, but I warn the kids before I take action. I'll say, "If the Hot Wheels don't get put up in their box before bedtime, they are mine." That usually works wonders.
I don't like that I must motivate them SO much, but they ARE still young and I guess we've got to externally motivate them before they will be internally motivated to work and keep neat and be helpful.
I also like the Hazells' comment that food is a great motivator. You know, "you can eat lunch as soon as you finish ..." We've done that too. I often use this for the simple stuff. Today, the girls had a band practice at 12:10 and everyone has to ride in the car to get there. All the kids had to have shoes and socks on as well as instruments and music in the car and jackets poised to go... But, you can also say, "you can come to dinner when school is done."
I'd love to hear others' ideas.