Saturday, April 09, 2011

Etc.and Chores. Yes, the Etcetera is First.

I should be packing. And preparing my Sunday School lesson. And cleaning the playroom (still). But I was getting too upset with the kids, so instead of reverting to incessant yelling and unorthodox violence, I removed myself and took a break. And here I am.

Pictures! Finally! Pictures! Of Stuff!

My Valentine's Day flowers:

Brandon and I on our trip to San Francisco (Brandon is in the lobby at The Palace Hotel. I am just being silly before a long day of shopping):

Brandon went to Hong Kong to see the factories where they make the equipment for his company. He is the Director of Supply Chain at Vivint:

#2's Baptism on March 5th! She chose to wear the jumpsuit.

I need to buy this CD. Or see it live. You probably do, too!


This morning I:
*Asked #1 to make the pancake batter from scratch --she had to double the recipe, too --and she did great!
*Taught #3 how to vacuum his room and watched him do it.
*Had the girls switch the laundry several times.
*Encouraged #4 to help #3 clean their room.
*Listened as the older kids helped the younger kids "pack" their clothes (I'm probably going to have to fix all that as soon as I get off this computer, but still...).

Chores my kids do:
#1 (she is ten years old):
Loads dishwasher, sweeps kitchen/dining room floors, cleans room, feeds cat, switches laundry, vacuum's bedroom floor, folds own laundry, weeds garden, practices piano/homework, helps clean playroom/family room.

#2 (she is eight years old):
Clears/wipes off table, vacuums living room, dusts living room, tidies bathroom, cleans room, picks veggies when needed, folds own laundry, switches laundry, practices piano/homework, helps clean playroom/family room.

#3 (he is six years old):
Empties dishwasher, cleans room, vacuums room, empties bathroom garbage cans, folds own laundry, gets laundry from dryer, waters garden as needed, homework, helps clean playroom/family room.

#4 (he is four years old):
Sets table, cleans room, puts own dishes in sink, gets mail, helps mom fold his laundry, helps clean playroom/family room.

#5 (he is 20 months old):
Puts own diaper in the garbage (who says a toddler can't learn how to work?).

Of course, they all have to make their beds, put their clothes in the hamper, brush their teeth, hang up their towels, put the backyard toys away (when I remember to remind them), etc.

Everything changes, though. Each list will change every few months. I keep trying to teach them new things and show them that they can do more than they realize. Up until we had a house cleaner, they had to clean the bathrooms, too (#1, #2, and #3 know how to clean mirrors, toilets, sinks, and floors). I'm thinking we need to get back into it a bit more. The house cleaner only comes twice a month now, so the bathrooms might need it.

Occasionally, someone will express their shock that I make my children do "so much." My six year old can clean a toilet?? But a lot of times, I honestly don't think they do "enough." This is one area in my life I feel I'm actually doing pretty awesome. I may yell too much, ignore too much, and have massive emotional issues, but my kids are learning how to work.

It doesn't come easy, though. Like my earlier post about whining, my kids whine A LOT. A lot, lot. They hate that they have to come home from school to practicing, homework, and chores (even though I give them a nice break with a snack beforehand). They hate that we do Saturday chores and that I make them fold their laundry (although they always have plenty of time to play). But that's normal! What kid likes to work, huh?? None that I can imagine. Or know. Heck, I don't like to work!

My younger brother hated to do chores, too. In fact, he was the one who refused to do them all the entire day (Saturday), lose his allowance, not get to play with friends, and STILL have to do his chores Saturday night. I need to write him and thank him for that because I've used it as an example with #3 --and it's gotten him to do his chores in a timely manner! So, thank you, Darryl!

Anyway. Chores. I do those pretty well. The house doesn't stay clean, nor does it look pristine (children are cleaning it, yo!), and sometimes I'll give them a break and do all the kitchen/living room chores for them (which I already do every single day, anyway --those rooms NEVER stay clean for long) and sometimes, it doesn't go so hot, and sometimes I give in, and... it's okay. Because I'm doing my best. And my kiddos are really learning how to work.

Brag! What do you do well as a mother?


Julie P said...

1 - the Palace is one of my fave hotels in SF. One day you need to go to the full tea. So fun.

2 - Yes, you DO need to buy the Lamb of God - I got mine today on iTunes and listened to it while making jam. It is just beautiful.

3 - i feel strongly about kids and jobs, too. We're doing a good job about teaching ours to work, now we need to work on the having a GOOD 'TUDE while working!

Cheryl said...

I also feel strongly about making kids work. Ours literally worked ALL DAY today (switching bedrooms/playroom around) and they were such great helpers and complained very little. We did reward them with a fun movie and treats tonight.

radel said...

Cheryl, I want to be you when I grow up!!! Teaching my kids to work is something I need to get waaayyy better at. How do you keep track of who does what chore? I've tried a couple of different ones, but they don't work for me. Or maybe I'm just not consistent enough. I'm beginning to think I'm to soft on them. Plus the whole "it's just easier to do it myself" thing. I don't know. But you give me hope! :) Thanks for sharing!!

Cheryl said...

One of my favorite quotes is, "I am sacrficing perfection to teach responsibility." It is certainly easier to do it ourselves and do it right, but it doesn't teach them anything except that Mom is their slave.

I do a Saturday chore list every Sat. morning that they can check off...during the week they have chores they do daily and I am just implementing a "zone" a week for them to check on daily and help keep clean. We'll see how it goes.

What I do well as a Mom? I laugh with my kids a lot and enjoy the "moments" immensely!

Laura@livingabigstory said...

Wow! Thanks for the kick in the patootie! I thought I was doing ok with teaching chores, but I've got a bajillion things I now realize I could do ....

I love the idea of sacrificing perfection to teach responsibility ...