Managing Monday’s: Chores and Rewards
February 6, 2012, 9:15 pm
Filed under: discipline, organization, Parenting, Teenagers | Tags: , , , ,

Managing Monday’s: Chores and Rewards

I have been working all day trying to get Kari’s Kitchen done. My dad has graciously been helping me but I am tired. I look at the dishes that need to be done. I walk into the family room and see all the kids ornaments that have finally been taken down and inside I cringe. I had sort of promised Scott they would be down by Valentines Day and I was working towards that. Jessie and John walk in from school and I have an idea.

All four of my kids have been doing chores since they were two. They have been taught that chores are a part of being in a family. Their chores do not earn them an allowance, it earns them a place in the family. They each have daily chores and weekly chores. In a family of six, and a large house, they have learned what it means to run a household together. Recently, we have had to re-visit these “opportunities of service,” as Scott is now gone five days a week. They may moan, and procrastinate, but bottom line they get it done.

When I need extra help, or just need a break, I have no problem rewarding them for doing extra chores above and beyond their daily and weekly chores. I ask Jessie how much home work she has, she replies with a “not much.” Hey, do you want to earn a movie ticket? “What do I have to do?” Would you please pack up the ornaments in the individual boxes according to whom they belong to? She thinks about it, negotiates a popcorn as well, and we have a deal. John, want ten dollars in iTunes? What do I have to do? Wash the dishes from Kari’s Kitchen and clean all the counters. By when? Before you go to workout tonight. Okay, sure.

I had a free movie ticket, and an iTunes gift card that had not been used. It worked out to a Win-Win for all of us. Is that bribing? Maybe. Is it worth it? Yes. I know that they already do the chores asked of them. I know that they do not love it (who does?) The extra bonus for extra chores seems very warranted and fair. Do I think I should pay my children for helping our household run in a clean and efficient manner? No. Should they expect to be rewarded for doing extra things? No. Are we both happy when they are? Yes.

Tonight I came home after dinner out knowing my kitchen would be clean and the last of the CHristmas stuff finally put away. I also knew my kids would not resent they had been asked to do more than their siblings. Sometimes a little reward can go a long way to making a happy home.


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