Pumpkin Girl is so like me in ways that I don’t always care to admit. She is a free spirit and very much has her own mind. I certainly don’t want to change her, but I know from experience that those traits will sometimes land her in trouble. Right now we are working on her accomplishing her chores. Boo, who is a very task oriented, get the job done so we can move on to better things kind of guy, is doing will with his ChorePack. Pumpkin on the other hand, flits through her chores like a little fairy, a little bit here and a little bit there. Instead of turning her chorepack in when it’s finished, I have sometimes found it on her bed, still on chore #2, even though she claims all the chores are done. I have reviewed with her how the chorepacks work and how she’s supposed to use them. She completely understands and can show me she knows what to do. But then the next day, she’s flitting around again, not getting anything done. So now I wear her chore pack. She finishes one chore, hands the chore card to me and I give her the next one. It’s an inconvenience for her, especially when her chores are upstairs and I’m downstairs. Our goal is to ultimately wean both children off the chorepacks. I think Boo is almost there, but I bet he’ll want to keep using his – he likes the check list aspect. When Pumpkin can demonstrate that she can accomplish her chores correctly in the time alloted, I will be able to loosen up a bit. I want her to be able to accomplish her chores in her own way, as long as the end result is her chores being completed. Someday she’ll be able to go in to her room and put her things away in what ever order she chooses. It’ll be good for her to have that responsibility.
Training our children to do chores is such an important responsibility for a parent. Children need to learn to be productive members of a family and to take care of themselves and their home. The goal is to raise responsible adults who can function in the world. Chores aren’t always fun, but they don’t have to be. Everyone in the family has their own jobs to do to keep the home running. At the ages my children are at, I insist the chores are done "my" way. Soon enough they will find their own ways of doing things and that will be ok too. As long as the floor is swept, it doesn’t matter to me if they start in the kitchen or the entrance way. We are also learning that a job done quickly but poorly takes much longer because it will need to be redone.
My desire is that by training my children early, good habits will become second nature to them. They will see the benefit of doing their work consistently and well and become used to an orderly, peaceful environment. I hope they carry these lessons with them for a lifetime instead of having to learn them as an adult the way I did.