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We Work Hard, We Play Hard. (.. in theory.)

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I always adore watching the trends of family bloggers in the summer. There's definite phases to the adjustment of having the kids home over the summer. I liken it to the stages of depression, addiction, grieving.. they have obvious and pronounced durations.

A couple of weeks ago, there was the flood of the optimistic intentions. This summer will be awesome, they all start. There are bucket lists and plans and ideas and TONS of Pinterest pins to illustrate in perfect fashion how this summer? WILL BE MADE OF BABY UNICORNS AND RAINBOWS.

Then the kids come home.

And we all know the next stage: REALITY.

The I'm borrrreeeeed battle cry begins. The sloth's death grip takes over the house. There is apathy, greed, and general malaise. This, my friends, is where most families are now.


(I wish we had a bucket list, I really do. I am an innate list-maker.)

So we're in the "Reality" phase of summer planning, which means I'm seeing an increase in CHORE CHART pins and ideas. Well, y'all, I am really proud of myself here. Because chore charts? ARE A YEAR-ROUND ACTIVITY IN THESE PARTS.

Dude, my kids are well-programmed robots. Sort of. In theory.

My chore chart is one I found on clearance, but you could easily make something similar. It had two features that I had been looking for: dry-erase capability and moveable stars. With a household of cheap workers kids that range in age from 12 to 4, I need a little flexibility.

Most of the chores on my chore chart are based around very simple maintenance needed around the house: pick up your room, make your bed, get yourself dressed and put clothes away. I've heard debate that these things even be considered something worthy of a reward; my old school parents would argue that these are the things that earn your free rent. Some of the chores, however, are things that are a bit more .. labor-intensive. And those are the things I don't expect done on a daily basis.

So once a weekend - or maybe a weeknight, if we've got a really busy weekend planned - we'll take a half hour. That's the baseline plan, and that's what we stick to. You only have to work for thirty minutes. After half an hour, I ask no more work from you.

Chores to fit into those half hour of cleaning bursts are things like vaccuum your room, wipe down your bathroom cabinets and toilet, clean out the snake's cage, wipe down the kitchen table. And yes, the kids initially fought me tooth and nail for this half hour.

But .. eventually .. they learned that what I was asking them to do? Took LESS than half an hour. And if they just buckled down and started? They'd be finished in no time at all, and they enjoyed pointing out that they got more than half of their time back.

I'm sure everyone reading thus far is wondering: what does this have to do with finding family memories? Simple - in my simple mind, anyway: the housework gets done, and it allows us more time to do fun stuff. You've cleared your chore chart? SUHWEET, cause I found this awesome street festival I'd like to take you too. Since I don't have to spend time cleaning, we can go.

Also? My kids won't look back at their summers and wonder why they only had to do chores for three months out of the year.

Do your kids have chores? Do you reward them for it, or is it their contribution to the household?

by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
by Carissa on Jun. 26, 2012 at 9:16 PM
We don't call them chores or reward them but we do things together as a family and everyone helps out and works together.
by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 9:52 PM

 I do pay them for some jobs, but  cleaning their rooms is their contribution to the household.

by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 10:57 PM

My 4 and 2 year old girls we do make them clean up their toys before they go to bed every night. We don't reward them for it. It is more a contribution to the household. :)

by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Yes my kids do have chores...simple ones because they are little and we reward them with special snacks or pick out a new toy or movie :)
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by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 11:27 PM

We used to do chores and they got a dollar for each chore completed during the week(they were given 5).  We let it slide.  I really need to start again.  The kids have been asking me to.

by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 12:22 AM
They will have chores that they won't get rewarded for, then extra chores they can opt to do for payment
by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 3:08 AM

my kids don't have chores yet, but we will be starting for my 5 year old

by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 8:09 AM

 Yes, he has chores and it's his contribution to the household.  He gets to live here and eat here so doing a few chores is a small price to pay.

by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 8:13 AM

In the summer he has more chores. During the school year, school is his primary job.

by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 8:53 AM

My kids do have chores, some of them are required to be done as part of being a part of the family- we all chip in and don't expect anything in return.  Other chores are paid chores so that we can start to teach them how to manage money and how to work for the things they would like to purchase.  

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