rants and rambles

The Chore Monster

March 17, 2016

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Do you ever feel like the chore monster?  Nagging your children until they
 no longer hear your voice but simply hear an easily ignored buzzing sound??  
Me too.  I have tried almost everything to get my boys to do chores. 
 It works for about a day and then it is back to me being the 
nagging Chore Monster. 
But I just might have found something that works.  
At least it has worked this week.
Money Talks.  Whether you are 7 or 77 money 
tends to get your attention.
I have three boys.  Boys are different from girls.  In a LOT of different ways.  
Chores are no different.  Not many kids love chores but there is something
 ingrained in little girls that they want to “help”.  Boys are ingrained to
 “hinder” or “break”.  This is a stereotype.  I am sure there are plenty of little 
girls who are extremely unhelpful and I am sure there are some saintly 
little boys who love to play house and help their mommies.  
My boys can even have saintly helpful days minutes as well.  I think it is my job, 
as a mother of boys to teach them how to be helpful around the house. 
Who says that women have to do all of the housework?  My saintly husband
 does the laundry at our house and seriously, it is a LIFESAVER!!!!
My niece could (and wanted to) put away her own laundry at 18 months.  
I still struggle with trying to get my 7 and 10 year olds to put their laundry
 away correctly (meaning without taking the folded clothes and just jamming 
them into the drawer, thus becoming unfolded, wrinkled and no
 longer able to close the drawer).
I have tried all sorts of different chore rituals in hopes that the boys 
will be motivated and excited to help.  I have tried charts, rewards, punishments, 
apps, lists….etc.  My new “system” seems to work for a day or two and then they
 lose interest and they don’t really care about the reward any longer.  
Even if it is money.  They don’t care if next to their name it says IOU $5.
So this time I went with the real motivator.  Money.  Not just IOU money.  
Nope, cold hard cash and INSTANT GRATIFICATION.  I am happy to tell
 you that it is working.  Just this morning (7+ days into this trial) they were
 looking at the money to see what they could earn quickly before school.  Hallelujah!
We are getting ready to go on vacation and the boys have to earn their
 spending money.  So I always try to kick it up a notch and get them to do
 more chores around vacation time.  They usually lose interest right away,
 but seeing that money on the wall every day has caused them to 
work hard and earn some good money.  
Most of the jobs are fairly easy and don’t take too long.  My house has 
remained pretty clean in the last week and I have had odd jobs completed
 like disinfecting the door nobs, light switches and hand rails and wiping down
 all of the baseboards in the house.  Who has time for that???  I don’t.  But my cute
 little minions do.  All for the bargain price of $2-3.  They love completing the job,
 having me inspect the job to make sure it is finished (yes I am a control freak)
 and done well, and then grabbing the money from the chore wall 
and putting in their piggy bank to save for vacation.
I didn’t spend a lot of time on this project.  I just cut some index cards 
in half and wrote the chore in Sharpie.  Then I clipped the money and
 the chore to my picture frame.  I have added a few here and there as the other
 ones have been completed or if I see something that needs attention around the house.
  This frame from Hobby Lobby and wire and clips from IKEA are so handy!
Usually the frame holds family snapshots or 
holiday decor.  But this month it is the money maker!   
February was the month of LOVE and March is Money Madness!
If you are having trouble getting your kids to do chores, this just might do the trick.
  I also included some school things like writing a story (to practice writing and
 penmanship) or reading extra time.  You could even have one for going to bed
 without whining or eating all of your dinner.  Everyone needs a little motivation
 once in a while.  I know I do. 
I am off to clean the microwave…. and take the money from the board.
  Hey, I need some spending money too!  
What motivates your kids to do chores?

The Chore Monster

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