My kids have always been made to do their chores. I don't run them ragged, or ask too much of them ... at least I don't think so. Actually, we go pretty easy on them ... I'm sure. I mean, I still do MOST of the work around here ... so they aren't overworked or anything. No child labor laws being broken ... that's for damn sure.
However, lately I've noticed the desire to 'pull their weight' ... has been diminishing slowly ... and I do believe it has something to do with the dropping temperatures and white stuff covering the ground. Either that or the little white box sitting next to the television called a Wii.
It got to the point that the everyday mundane chores was a CHORE for me to get them to do. So I quickly came up with a solution ...
I no longer "assign" chores. Nope. Not gonna tell Jake he HAS to empty the dishwasher, make his bed and scrub the toilet. Not gonna beg Drew to clean his room, bring in the trash barrels and put away his laundry.
Tickets can be collected in their own color coordinated pot.
Each ticket is good for 15 minutes of "screen time". Screen time equals watching TV, playing video games (console and hand held) and opening the laptop.
Other ways to earn tickets are 30 minutes of reading ... equals 1 ticket (15 min. of screen time). A helpful hand or kind gesture noticed by me, THE MOM, earns a ticket ... so on and so forth.
HOWEVER - there are ways to LOSE tickets ...
Words we don't use in THIS house - stupid, hate, idiot, sucks, etc ... If I hear it, a ticket comes out of your bowl. No exceptions.
Pushing, hitting, tripping, yadda yadda .. a ticket comes out of their pot. Sorry, rules are rules.
I think you get the point. It's been working very well.
So well that I can't even describe it. The kids wake up and want to do NOTHING but ... their chores.
To earn tickets.
And I'm finding they are spending so much time doing things for 'the house and family' ... they haven't been asking to spend their tickets ...
But I'm sure they will ... at some point.
I think that's a given.
It works for us ... hope it works for you too! For more tips ... head on over to Rock In My Dryer.