Chores, Revisited

In my never ending quest to produce well behaved, self sufficient adults, I have updated the children’s daily chores.

Boo (8 yo)’s morning chores are:

  • Make bed
  • Clear breakfast dishes and load dishwasher
  • Wipe placemats
  • Get Nicholas’ schooltime snack ready
  • Sweep and swiffer kitchen, dining room and entrance way
  • Brush teeth
  • Shine bathroom mirrors and sinks

His afternoon chores are:

  • Return his water cup to the table (he often takes it to his room during quiet time)
  • Put napkins on the table
  • Fold the blankets in the living room
  • Make sure all the coats are hung up in the closet
  • Help put away the baby’s toys
  • empty out his blue basket
  • Clean the playroom (all toys in their bins, dress up clothes in basket, crafts away, legos and blocks in their tubs, magazines and books on shelves, fold blankets)

Pumpkin Girl (6yo)’s morning chorese are:

  • Make bed
  • Open the blinds in the bedroom
  • Brush her hair
  • Clear her breakfast dishes
  • Clear off and wipe dining room table for school
  • Brush teeth
  • Clean glass storm door and sliding glass door

Her afternoon chores are

  • Return her water cup to the table
  • Put forks or spoons on table
  • Fold blankets in living room
  • Help put away baby’s toys
  • Empty out pink basket
  • Close the blinds in bedroom
  • Return all the toys in the bedroom to the playrom
  • Put her books and dolls on the proper shelf
  • All of her stuffed animals on the animal tree
  • Clear off the dresser
  • Empty out the “Pit of Never Return”
  • fold blankets

Their pink and blue baskets are small Rubber Maid totes that sit on the staircase. When they leave a toy out, I toss it into the appropriate basket rather than having them stop whatever they are doing to take care of that item. They use the baskets too, if they are done playing with something but don’t want to take it all the way upstairs right then. It’s an easy way to try to tame the chaos.

Because they tend to bicker, I only have them working together on chores while folding blankets and putting away the baby’s toys. I also tried to put their morning chores in a particular order so that they are not both trying to brush their teeth at the same time.

I have been using the Managers of Their Chores system, but the chore pack holders are still missing from our move. I got tired of waiting to find them, so I improvised by just writing out their chores on an index card. That seems to be working out fine. I only listed the chores that they won’t think of doing themselves. Some things they do without being told, like getting dressed and getting breakfast for themselves. Having their chores all written out, step by step if need be helps me not have to nag them. Just a quick reminder to “start your chores” and they are off. I could go on and on about chore training, but if you’re interested, I highly recommend the MOTC book.

Next I’ll be working on giving them weekly chores. I’d like Boo to start vaccuuming and bringing in the trashcan and recyling bins and maybe getting the mail. We have one of those community mail boxes, so I have to check to see if he’s tall enough to reach our box. Actually, I guess getting the mail is a daily chore. I’m not really sure what sort of weekly chores I’m going to have Pumpkin Girl doing. Part of the problem is that so many of these things I can get done better and faster, but that’s not the point. They need to learn to do these things for themselves. And I need to let them.

One huge benefit that I found from having the children doing chores, especially at a particular time, is that I can do my own chores at the same time. Some of my own chores tend to be follow ups to their chores. For example, after Boo has swept and swiffered, I check to see if I need to mop.

I’d like to say that our home runs smoothly and is neat and tidy all day. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. We’re still trying to sort through the moving boxes and just get all that stuff put away. We’re making progress, though, slow as it may be. And at the very least, we are all getting the basics done every day.

More Mac and Cheese, please!


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