Thursday, January 18, 2018
Chores & Checklists
Today I am going to talk about "Chores & Checklists." Do you get tired of asking your kids, "did you do this? Did you do that?" I do have a child with ADHD, so constant reminders has become a habit, but I want to teach my girls responsibility. I want them to grow up and be able to function in the real world. I don't want them to take things for granted and to expect that it to be all about them. As a single mom, you learn to have a routine, or else you can't function. This is true for all families, but especially true for the single mom. We have a system. My girls know the system. They know that when they come home from school, they hang up their coats, pull out their binders for me to see, put away their backpacks and empty their lunch boxes. Last fall after listening to my friend's podcast, I decided that instead of me reminding them everyday, I'd just type up a checklist for them and have them refer to that.
This was all stuff that they had been doing already, but all typed out for them. I placed one in their room and one in their bedroom. I added a few things like a morning devotion, making their own breakfast (one child was NOT happy about that), making their own lunch, and washing their face. I've learned that one child LOVES having a checklist and the other could care less. 😂 One day not too long after we started this, my youngest asked me..."Mommy, now that we are doing all of the work, what are you doing?" 😂 "My heart is filled with peace that you too will be able to function in the real world someday." 😂
My friends Jenn & Courtney talk about doing chores in the podcast too. I have slowly been adding those throughout the years. Since I can remember, they have been responsible for clearing their plates from the table after they eat. They have been folding their own clothes for about a year. After hearing their podcast, I decided in December that it was time to add a chore chart. To make it fun, our Elves brought them one Friday night.
I was very surprised that my girls were okay with this. They made sure to point out that even mommy had chores. 😄 Some parents do a weekly "allowance" or "commission" for doing chores. I have not started that. I want my girls to understand that doing chores is what family does. We all have responsibilities. We are a team. I'm also not at a place yet to pay them (darn you Disney). 😄 Next year, that will be a part of my budget and they will get a weekly "commission", because you earn it, from doing extra chores.
Start now to teach your kiddos to be responsible adults. We won't always be there. My mother passed away my senior year in high school. Teach them to cook and do laundry. Also mamas...if they forget something at home (a project or lunch, or whatever), leave it at home. It just takes you not bailing them out ONE time to learn to be more responsible. You won't be able to bail them out when they are in college or if they have a project or deadline for their job someday. Wouldn't you rather them learn now while they are under your roof and the consequences are smaller?
One more thing...there are so many great devotionals out there. I went the free route. I got the girls each a binder and downloaded this daily devotional for them. It also has a journal page that the kids can write their reflections and prayer requests on. We are just keeping it simple. 😃
Our life isn't perfect and we don't get every item done on our checklist everyday or on our weekly chore list. It's a work in progress for all 3 of us. We are growing and learning from it though. I am very blessed to be a mama to these sweet girls. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what works in your home. We are on this journey together mamas. Oh and if you would like a copy of my checklist and chores, you can download them here and here. Talk to you again soon!