So, if we don't usually do chore charts, how do chores get done around here? The answer is: they get done FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. We get up, we do chores. Sometimes before breakfast, sometimes right after breakfast.
|Anita (3) puts away shoes, |
and unloads clean silverware.
|Gus (5) empties all the little trash cans |
in the house into the kitchen trashcan.
|Bobby (7) unloads the dishwasher.|
|Betty (8) takes out the trash and recycling, |
sorts the recyclables,
tidies up the girls' room,
and gets out clothes for the girls.
|Jack (10) feeds and waters the chickens, |
brings in the eggs
(we are attempting some suburban pioneering,
more on that another time),
tidies up the boys' room,
and gets out clothes for the boys.
Setting the table, running the stick vac, taking a dirty diaper to the stinky diaper can, cleaning up a particular area, getting little ones ready for naps or buckled into the car . . . all of these are assigned on an ad hoc basis to the nearest kid. I do try to be fair. But no complaining is tolerated. The only acceptable response is, "O-kay Mama."
For our big afternoon cleanup before dinner, everyone gets an assignment and we all tidy at once. Usually to the tune of Irish folk music. Or Gene Autry.
Snow White was right: "It won't take long if there's a song to help you set the pace." But also, bunnies do her dishes. So that saves some time too.
When Jack was six years old, we asked him to bring in the empty curbside trash cans of our elderly neighbor (since he was already out there doing ours). She insisted on giving him a dollar for his trouble, and since then he has grown his little business, until he now has seven customers and probably makes $10 a week since some of his customers believe a 100% tip is appropriate.
This is his flyer:
It's harder than it used to be for a kids to find a job (I'm pretty sure paper boys and match girls don't exist any more, at least not in the greater Los Angeles area) but our kids have managed to find a way to make some money on their own, so they can now commence learning to be responsible with it. Or just keep buying LEGOs. One of the two.