My house has been pretty dirty lately.
A dirty house is like an eternal ring of madness… you can clean to the best of your ability, but if there’s a part of the main living area that isn’t tidy, everyone acts like a slob -and the mess is never ending.
If my daughter comes home from school to a dirty living room, she puts her backpack, shoes, and coat on the floor.
If my daughter comes home to a partially dirty living rooms, she puts her backpack, shoes, and coat on the floor.
I nag at her to clean them up.
She sort of listens.
And then I yell.
There’s contention… and no matter how clean the house is, if there’s contention around it just FEELS dirty.
If my daughter comes home to a clean living room, she’s more inclined to put her things away without being asked. She’s also more inclined to get right on it if she doesn’t put them right away (as in: I only have to remind her once).
Adorable as she is, The New One has thrown a wrench in our routine. Trying to keep up with everything is impossible. Right now, it’s also very unnecessary. Still, some semblance of order is required.
We tried having a Family Home Evening lesson on keeping our house in order (how many of THOSE did you have growing up? Fifty or a million?). It helped.
But it still brought on a lot of reminding and nagging and our old friend, Contention.
Then I saw a link one of my friends posted on facebook (thank you, Charlsye!).
It’s an online job chart. It’s free, and it’s revolutionary.
I’ve never been a fan of paying kids to do things that they should be doing anyway. HOWEVER, nothing is getting done. At all. Contention makes SURE of it.
I logged on to the site and immediately created my own account. I added pictures of our family, and each kid has their own PASSWORD… do you have any idea how COOL that makes my little kids feel?
They earn points with their chores, and they can use their points to either
1) save up some cash that Mom and Dad will pay out later.
2) donate to a charity.
3) spend on a toy or something of the like.
They’re linked up to Amazon, so your child can pick a toy, see how many points it’s worth and then work hard to earn that toy.
My son has dedicated himself to earning a toy bow and arrow set.
My daughter couldn’t care less about the toys and is earning points toward an ice cream cone, a cookie-making session, and a picnic.
One point is equal to one cent.
My kids earn points by brushing their teeth, feeding their animals, combing their hair… again, it doesn’t sit right to me that my kids are essentially getting paid to brush their teeth.
And yet. At least it’s now getting done whereas before? It was not. They’re dedicated to getting their chores done now.
They’re even reminding ME that they have things that need done.
I know that chore charts come and go -one will work for a while and then you have to switch to a new method… but I think this one is here to stay.
And I’ve got clean, groomed kids and fat, happy pets to prove it.