Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chores vs. Life Skills

The word "chore" has a very negative feeling associated with it - for adults and kids alike. That is why when we introduced chores to our kids we called them "Life Skills".

Now, they saw right away that we were talking about chores. However, we told them that they were going to learn the skills that they would need to be independent in life. Now, they got excited about that. (It's all about marketing.)

During this same talk BEFORE life skills training started, we told them what to expect - VERY important in any situation. We told them that during training they would become tired and not want to finish the skill. However, that was the time that they need to keep going to learn how to work hard - even when they don't want to. What a great life skill right there!

Now, as with any employee training, I am right there with them. Teaching them the proper way to do the chore and how to pay attention to the details. Now this is great because they will know exactly how I want the job done. This has worked so much better than just yelling, "Just go clean your room." Then fighting them to get it done, then finding out they didn't do it they way I expected. AAAGGGHH!

Also, they see me working right there along side of them. This twarts the classic whines of, "We are doing all of the work and you are doing nothing. We are just your slaves."

It is important to remember that they are kids. They didn't come to this life automatically knowing what I think or want (even though sometimes I think they should :) Taking the time to do the training has allowed us some great moments together (all three girls dusting and polishing the piano - beautiful).

There have also been some not so wonderful moments. Mostly when the chore is almost done and they start whining. That is when I remind them that this would happen and they need to keep going. So far (knock on wood) this has worked and we have been successful!

Today my five year old shook out the rugs, took off the chair pads, and vacuumed the foyer and dining room floors. While the seven year old wiped off the table and chairs, and mopped the same area. I stayed busy bopping back and forth training them.

Also, every morning they empty the entire dishwasher. I am LOVING that life skill.

I read a book called "The Parenting Breakthrough" by Merrillee Boyack to get started with this. I highly recommend this book. Here is the link if you are interested. http://deseretbook.com/store/product/4931238

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