our busy summer weekend, part 2

I didn’t spend all weekend lounging by a mountain creek with a bucket of KFC, you know.  I did get some work done after we returned home from our day in the mountains — I cut paper, drew pictures, stickered things and laminated.  And here is the the result of all my efforts.

A new chore system!  Isn’t that exciting?

I’ve tried various chore systems with the boys over the years, and while each system was useful, the boys still rely on me part of the time to “remind” them.  Since I have lost my brain to Lyme, “reminding” is ridiculously hard for me to do because it requires that I remember in the first place.  And I don’t remember anything.

So I’ve been searching for a way to encourage the boys to be fully responsible for their chores without me checking and reminding.  I am cautiously hopeful that I have found it.  You can follow along with this as we go, watch and learn from our failures . . . . . . I mean successes  (thinking positive here).

We are in Phase One right now, which is purposely simple so the boys can catch on quickly.  When they complete their morning chores, they get 1 ticket.  When they complete their midday chores, they get 1 ticket.  When they complete their evening chores, they get 1 ticket.  Then they can use their tickets to “buy” 15 minutes of computer time, outside play, a park day, or a day working with Daddy.  Though I encourage them to use their tickets, they have to learn to plan ahead and always keep atleast one ticket on hand because Sid usually asks one of the boys to come with him at the last minute.  Park days are also last minute decisions.

At the end of the day, if they have earned all their tickets, they get to check off one square on the date card.  When they have earned 10 checks, they get a special date with me.  I am particularly excited about that part, because Sidney has been asking for special time with me.  This keeps me accountable too, to make sure I get to spend some one-on-one time with each boy.  Sidney is eagerly planning a date to an antique store. 

The coolest thing about this new system, besides the fact that the boys become fully responsible for their own chores, is that it also incorporates learning about earning, saving and spending money; serving and helping others without pay AND helps correct some bad habits (like leaving shoes in the floor instead of on the shoe shelf).  This system answers a lot of questions I’ve been puzzling over for years, and I’m excited about giving it a try and tweaking it.

We are currently on Day 2 with the new system, and both boys are enthusiastic and hopping right to their chores.  Funny how a little “ticket” with a sticker star is so exciting for them.  As soon as I get them going, I will start Rachel.  She will LOVE this!

Now that I’ve blathered on about all these big plans, I need somebody to check in with me in a month or so to ask how it is going.  If I know somebody is paying attention, I might be more accountable to stick with it.

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3 thoughts on “our busy summer weekend, part 2

  1. tina, will you make me a chore system? i would like to discuss the rewards first. could i get sister day, a new book, a pedicure, a massage a…… i hope it works well for you and the kids.

  2. I’m very interested in how this is going to work out. You guys should have ALL the parenting stuff figured out by the time I have kids, and you can just write it down in a pretty book for me. Right?

  3. Bree, I would be happy to make you a chore system . . . . . .for my house. You come do my chores and I’ll give you all the tickets you want.

    Sandra, I suspect the only parenting stuff we will have figured out is that we don’t know much and I KNOW that you will learn far more from our parenting mistakes than anything else. Take the book monster, for instance. Big mistake! It may not seem like a big deal, but believe me when you have hundreds of books in the house and 5 people who are daily pulling multiple books off the shelf at a time and carrying those books to various parts of the house to read —- well, it becomes a mess and the bookshelves become a mess. Sure, I can retrain the kids, but stamping out old habits and creating new habits in oneself is difficult enough. But when you are trying to do this with yourself AND 4 children at the same time —– I’m starting to hyperventilate just thinking about it. Where’s my chocolate?

    Part of the reason I posted the chore system was so I could feel a little pressure to press forward and keep trying if I thought somebody might ask me about it down the road. Otherwise, it would be too easy for me to throw up my hands and whine, “It’s just too hard.”

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