We pretty much have to...um...lets call it "strongly encourage"... our children to get their chores done every morning.
It's not like we are slave drivers or anything, our poor, picked on offspring are not overly burdened with morning chores (everyone has to clean his/her bedroom, make the bed and everyone from first grade on has to straighten one additional room and practice the piano -- we sort of figure since it is their clothes and toys that are left all over it is fair to ask them to help clean up the mess).
Well, surprisingly, our children don't like cleaning up. (Hey, me too...how come no one seems to care about that?)
So they whine about it and dawdle and dilly dally and fuss and it is not unusual to find (after they have left for school of course) that someone didn't do whatever it is they were supposed to do.
This is very frustrating for me. I already sit a the downstairs computer every morning to try to urge my kidlets to stay on task (as if there is nothing better I could be doing with my time in the morning). I tried making them chore charts to help them stay focused (the charts were awesome, wish that would have worked). We tried not letting kids go to school until their jobs were done and passed off, but that just made for getting to school late and I HATE being late so that didn't work out (and only some of the children cared about not being on time).
We tried only giving allowance for the days that chores were done, which should have worked, but come the end of the week when we pay allowance we sometimes struggled to remember who had done what and who hadn't.
So, Josh came up with a beautiful solution.
We created an allowance cup for each child (except Ellie who doesn't care about money yet, she would be happier if we paid her in sequins or smarties). At the beginning of the week we put ten shiny dimes into their cup (I realize $1 per week for allowance is not much, but we aren't rich and paying five children adds up fast). Then, each day, at my leisure (so I am not saddled with checking it before they leave for school which can be a crazy time of day) I can check the chores and if they are not done I remove a dime from that child's cup. On Saturday, the cup of coins becomes theirs, but all week they have a physical reminder of how well or how poorly they have performed their jobs. We also award extra dimes for bonus jobs that the kids do without being asked or things they volunteer to help with.
We have been doing this for several weeks (I didn't want to post it until I was sure it would work) and it is FABULOUS! The threat of losing money that would be theirs otherwise is a great motivator for my kids.
Thanks, Joshua, for another wonderful parenting solution (when all of my brilliance didn't work out at all).
What great ideas do you have that help your children do the things you ask of them, I'd love to hear your secrts.