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I can’t wait to introduce you to our next guest writer!  Joy Vanderley is a wife and homeschooling mama from Michigan.  One of the most important things to Joy, as you will see in her writings, is raising children with honor, love and respect, so that everything they do as adults is built on a foundation of truth and trust.  She will be sharing various tips and stories with us over the next few weeks and months, and we are so excited to have her join us here at Cheeky Bums! 

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I have dreamed of employing a maid since my third child was born. Dreamed and schemed, actually! My husband is willing but my wallet is not.

As a teen I would help my grandmother clean out her kitchen cabinets. Then I
married, had a baby and cleaned her house weekly. My grandparents had the
help they needed while spending time with their great-granddaughter and I, well…I got a great education on the definition of CLEAN.

Ever cleaned the caulking around baseboards with a toothbrush? I have!

(Only for my granny)

When their situation changed, I started cleaning for my mother in law. By then I had two kids, multiple outside responsibilities and there were times when I couldn’t clean both her house and mine. When Baby #3 arrived and I was also home schooling the oldest two and working from home part time, I was wishing for my own maid.

Enter: The Chore Chart!

{I hear angels…}

Here is a FREE online chore chart for kids that we absolutely LOVE!  check it out: www.myjobchart.com

(and no, this isn’t exactly an info-mercial or a paid review, we just love their site and think you will really enjoy it! you can enter in jobs for the kids to check off each day, and they keep a running tally in their “bank account” – and they can even send you little messages with their own “email”)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t hire an adult to come help me, but my kids were old
enough to begin helping more around the house.  As the kids have grown, their chores have changed and more responsibilities have been added. Their help is necessary for our family to function. It has been the best thing I have done to stay organized and eliminate chaos!!

The problem for most of us is MOTIVATING our kids to do their chores with a good attitude! Even though we know it will help us, for awhile it can be more hassle than help. Here’s how I help my kids reach for that goal of working with a good attitude:

  • MAKE IT FUN! Sometimes this is the hardest thing for me, but it really does help to play “Beat the Timer” or set up a competition to see who can make the biggest weed pile in 20 minutes or blast dance music through the house to get us moving.
  • GIVE A REWARD A reward does not have to be money. In fact, I prefer to use non-monetary rewards such as a Family Game or Movie Night as motivation. Chores are something we all have to do. Children are better prepared for the transition to adulthood if they haven’t been trained to expect money every time they take out the garbage or clean their room.
  • SET A GOOD EXAMPLE As a parent, it’s my responsibility to teach the kids how to do things. I show my kids love when I expect them to help around the house instead of allowing them to be ignorant of important life skills. Work is just part of life.  and this bears repeating….I show my kids love when I expect them to help around the house instead of allowing them to be ignorant of important life skills. That’s my job as their parent and I would be cheating them from the honor of learning responsibility if I never taught them how to work.
  • DO IT TOGETHER My kids have confessed to feeling like slaves at times. When they see me resting while they work through their chore charts the feelings of resentment grow. I have stopped explaining how much work I have already accomplished for the day…I just join them. It doesn’t matter that I was up long before any of them, earning money to fill their bellies with food or put shoes on their ever growing feet. They want to see me getting my hands dirty, too. They’re much more motivated to HELP me. This also helps me follow up on their work and causes them to be more efficient.
  • BE PERSISTENT Persist in expecting good work because you’re teaching responsibility, life skills and preparing your kids to be independent. I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping my kids leave home someday. (Then I won’t NEED the maid!)

While having my kids do chores around the house isn’t the same as being able to turn the responsibility over to another adult, it has been good for our family. The kids know their contribution is needed to keep mom sane and life flowing smoothly. Meanwhile I continue to dream and scheme. Maybe someday I will have a maid…but in the mean time…we are building life-long character in our children – not just skills – but character…one load of laundry at a time…

What kind of chores do you have your children help you with?  What kind of reward system is there at your house?

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