As I transitioned into being a single mom, I quickly learned that I couldn’t do it all and I would need to enlist the help of my kiddos. We had a family council and decided that we could all do things to contribute to the well-being of our family. Some of the things that are necessary to sustain our family are things only I can do. Others are things we can all do. I can’t go to school full-time, work full-time, pay all the bills, do all the chores, run all the errands, attend all the events, etc. Compromise was going to have to be reached somehow…my solution was to empower my children and let them do the things they can do.
In doing so, I had to accept that they weren’t ever going to do things my way or as good as I wanted them done. I had to realize that it was more important to have things mostly done the way I like them than to try and find time and energy to do it all myself just so it could be exactly the way I wanted it all the time. The kids now do all the chores in my house. They don’t clean everything as well as I want them too everyday (or even on heavy cleaning days), but for the most part our home is relatively clean most of the time. They’ve had to learn how to expect more out of themselves and I’ve learned how to expect a little less. While they don’t clean as well as I would, they do clean better than they would if it was left entirely up to them…everything except their room that is. I don’t harp too much about their room because I don’t have to go in there. The deal is though…if they don’t keep their room clean and there things get broken or destroyed well…no whining.
My children are list checker offer’s just like me. My guidebook to chores has really helped them stay focused. I printed it out, laminated it, and put each page in the corresponding room. When it’s chore time, they go based on the list…and now that we have re-instituted the ticket system, I don’t have to argue about the chores or nag. If the things on the list aren’t done by the designated time, no tickets are earned. Pretty much all of their privileges are tied to tickets so it’s important to them that they earn their tickets.
You can download my family guidebook to chores by clicking here.