Friday, August 24, 2012

All In The Family

Now that school is back in full swing, we've successfully completed two homework days with little to no fussing.  Bunny had school homework for the first time last night and got it done and her nightly reading done in about 40 minutes!  Bug did 4 more worksheets I found for him and he was done in less than 15 minutes.  Two more stickers on the board and we're rolling.

Since we're starting to implement new routines and rules, we're reviewing chores this weekend.  We've always insisted that Bug and Bunny pick up the enclosed front porch we use as their play room, the toys etc. from the living room and their bedrooms at least once a week.  For weekend chores they both make sure the floors in their areas are picked up so GG can vacuum and they empty all the little trash cans around the house into the big trash cans.

As they're both getting older, we're starting to introduce new chores.  Recently I've added a night-time ritual of cleaning up the bathroom.  That means putting their toothbrushes, hair brushes and clothes where they belong instead of leaving them strewn all over the place.   I've also started giving them more responsibility when it comes to the pets.  They each take turns feeding the dog and our oldest cat (who gets wet food instead of the dry food all the other cats get).

These aren't paid chores.  I do believe in allowance for kids, but I feel like these kinds of chores are just what you do when you're part of a family.  We all help out.  We all do our part.  And I want that to be instilled in our kids - all of our kids.  I've always told GG and LW that if they want all the benefits of being part of our family (taking family vacations, going to Disneyland, and all the other fun perks) that they have to be involved in the not so fun parts of being part of this family too.  You're either all in or all out.  For the older the girls, that mostly means watching the Tweedles.  They only get babysitting money if we're doing something fun like a date.  Oh don't laugh.. it could happen!  But if we're grocery shopping or doing school/work events we can't have the kids at, they don't get paid.  That's just part of helping out the family.  It also means GG has regular chores around the house just like the rest of us on top of taking care of her own laundry and bedroom.

LW is a bit of a different story.  She is, of course, always a part of our family, but she doesn't live here.  So when we need her to pick kids up or drop them off somewhere, she's almost always available if she's not in class.  I also made a deal with her to play with The Tweedles a few times a week in return for keeping her on my cell phone family deal.  Mostly this helps us out with pick-ups during the school year, but it also is intended to help build a relationship between her and the Tweedles since she isn't living with us.  There's a huge age gap there, and I want to foster whatever relationship between them I can before she's off fully living her own life away from us.  This will start to be an issue with GG in the next year or so as soon as she starts living on campus or at least closer to school, and we'll have to work out some arrangement at that point to keep her close with the Tweedles. I don't even want to think about that yet though, I can't imagine our house without her in it.  At this point I usually just stick my fingers in my ears, close my eyes and sing twinkle twinkle at the top of my lungs in denial.

What about you guys?  Do your kids have chores? Do they get paid or is it all part of being in a family? What kinds of chores do your kiddos do?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

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