Thursday, December 20, 2012

Housework and Children

     Parenting is hard.  There is nothing more constant or physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting.  Just when you think you might have this whole parenting thing figured out, you realize you really don't know anything.  And you can never, ever slack up. 
     Unfortunately, I slacked up a little bit, and I am now seeing the results of that.  I've been busy making toys for my shop for the past few months, and then I've been spending even more time down in my shop making Christmas presents.  I've been seeing signs of not enough Mommy time in my kids for some time now, but I've tried to ignore it, because there was just so much stuff I had to do.  Thankfully, I think I've returned to my senses, and realized my priorities were not where they needed to be.  Making things in order to earn some extra money is great, but it's not the top priority in my life.  In fact, it's kinda near the bottom.  Or it should be.  So I probably will be rethinking how my shop fits into my life in the new year. 
     Right now, I've been working on getting the kids to be more obedient about everything, and to contribute more to the household in terms of chores.  As usual, Samuel is the one I've been butting heads with.  He's not into this obedience thing.
     Anna has been resisting helping me with the housework.  She is now at an age where she can be a real help, but she has not been a willing helper.  I used a chore chart with her when she was younger, but it was reward based, and I felt that it was giving her the mentality that unless she got payed for it, she wasn't going to do it.  I stopped using it, and started stressing that everyone in the family needs to contribute to the household work, because we all live here.  She gets this, but it's not very motivating.  She liked the chore chart.  I think I had a breakthrough with her the other day, though.  I had been sick for a couple of days, and the first day I started to feel better, I look around the house and it's horrible.  It looked like something exploded, or maybe lots of things had exploded.  It was bad.   I was already feeling stressed about lack of time, and here was this giant mess that was going to take all day to clean up.  I really wanted to yell, but I didn't.  Instead, I reminded Anna about how she is always wishing that I had more time to do fun stuff with her.  I explained that one of the reasons I don't have time to do fun stuff, is that I spend all my extra time cleaning house.  Then I told her that if we both worked really hard, and got the house clean before 4:00, I would have time to set up a craft for her to do, before I had to make supper.  Well, she helped me clean, fast, and we managed to get the house clean by 4:00.  The twins helped too.  As a result, I made up some salt dough, and the kids made salt dough ornaments.  The next day, after the house was clean, they got to paint them.  This was hugely motivating for Anna, but unlike monetary rewards, it was a natural result of helping with the housework. 
     I decided to reinstate the chore chart, but only as a means to check off what you need to accomplish that day.  The twins especially need a visual reminder of what they need to do.  I saw this really nifty chore chart on Pinterest, and thought it fit what we needed perfectly.  You can get the tutorial here. 

     The kids each got to pick out what kind of paper they wanted.  They loved that!  For the twins, I tried to give them very clear cut jobs.  Nothing like, "Pick up your toys." Since I knew there would be questions like, "Do I have to pick up the ones that I didn't get out?" So they have to pick up one type of thing like all the stuffed animals, whether or not they got them out, or if it belongs to them.  Abriel loves following her chart and doing her chores.  Samuel not so much, but we're getting there.  So the chores are getting done with a lot less complaining, and that's good.  One step at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Susannah, you haven't posted in a while and I hope you are all ok? I have missed your wise words and inspiration. Hope you have had a peaceful and relaxing summer. Cathy