Chores: Are They War Time Demands or Peace Time Talks in Your House?
Getting children to do their chores can be, shall we say, somewhat frustrating. I always find it hilarious when my kids clean their playroom with relative ease and even -- gasp! -- joy just because a grandma, an adult friend or a friend of theirs is helping with the task. For the most part, they do an okay job keeping things picked up, but we've had a fight -- or two -- about the subject of chores.
Kelli MW at Momma Needs a Beer wrote about her memories of the Chore Wars when she was growing up. Her recollections of how her mom made chore demands seemed vaguely familiar to me -- but I won't say whether it is my mom or myself that I am remembering.
It is the way that her dad approached the chore issue that stuck most with me. It reminds me of my dad -- and my husband -- and seeing it in words makes me wonder if there's not something brilliant to this approach.
She shares this memory:
Dad had a list of things that needed to get done (written by my mother) and he approached each of his daughters, privately, showing us the list, and how he decided to divide up the duties. One of us did laundry, one of us cleaned the sinks & tubs, one of us did the floors, etc. The presentation was something I'll never forget, because it's something he would reiterate each rare Saturday he was "in charge".
Kelli, you do such a great job scouring the sinks & tubs -- no one gets that chrome shinier than you, so I put you in charge of that today. When you finish that, you are free to hang out with your friends.
Do you see what my dad did? He complimented me, asked me for help, then highlighted the reward: freedom! From then on, when I cleaned the sinks & tubs, I got that satisfying feeling that I was, indeed the best at that particular job. And honestly, to this day, cleaning the bathrooms is still something I kinda enjoy. Shocker, huh?
How do you handle chores in your house? Are you more like Kelli's mom or dad?