Marie's Musings

Musings from the mundane day to day life of a mom of 9 to more serious ponderings of the day.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Morning Mutiny

It seems that the activity of the hour is argueing -- from how many yahtzees you can win to thats my car to what time it is on the stove clock. Lets just say it got old very fast. I know part of it is, they all have fairly stubborn, dominant personalities but all before I finished one cup of coffee is a bit much.

Started a new schedule with the kids and their chores. Lately it seems like a crazy cycle, the kids dont want to do the chores, thus drag their feet, we get frustrated and yell at them and it goes over and over. It was clear that this wasnt working so well.

So I brought out the poker chips and holder again. We have used that in the past, and it worked well for awhile. The concept is fairly simple, they get a chip for each chore they complete, up to two a day, one for main chore , one for bedroom. Previously, we had then charged them for computer time, extra tv time, fun things like birthday parties . Basing in on the concept that if they arent helping do chores and around the house, they dont get to do the fun stuff. Im not sure we will incorporate the charging for stuff right now, havent fully determined that.

But this time at least, Im insitituting a reward saturday. Each week there will be a predetermined amount of chips to be earned, some weeks it might be all 14, others maybe less, or maybe more that they have to save for or do extra chores to earn. And if on saturday, they have enough , they get that weeks reward. It could be a chuckie cheese trip as it is this week, or a family budget movie or as simple as a candy bar or a chore free pass for a day. The other component i added was a time piece, it needs to be done within an hour, half an hour roughly for each. I am using grace where needed, if a room is particularly messy and they have made a "good" effort i may give an extra 15 min or somthing of that nature as well. But this elimnates much of the foot dragging we have seen and let me tell you last night was so much more pleasant and they had free time that I wasnt yelling at them to stop playing and work during.

So last night was the first night, i started this again. It worked pretty well, sucess was had! The harder part Im sure will be getting this to work when Im not here to manage it, ie IM at work and a sitter is here , etc. But that too can get worked out.

The other thing I did was create a bulletin board, with spots for each of the 6 oldest kids names and each has a card below it with the name of the room they are assigned for the week. on the back of those cards, is an outlined list of the expectations for that room. So the line they like to use sometimes "I didnt know I had to do that" is no longer applicable. Those will switch on sundays. And even though Ezekiel is too young for a spot, he was put to work helping take down laundry and did a great job!

Well thats enough babbling for now.,


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