"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:7-8

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Family Service

We start them early around here doing chores. 
As soon as they can hold a broom they are expected to chip in with the housework!
I wonder who this little over achiever takes after? 
And no, I definitely do not miss our old kitchen floors that were once white but stained yellowish. 
Sometimes, they just walked around holding the broom looking cute and escaped their chores. 
It's all about the attitude. Cleaning is FUN!
It's a little tricky for Mom and Dad to use the shortened swiffer.
Lots of bending over required, but it's worth it if the kids do their part. 
And no clothing required! (JUST KIDDING!!!) :)

Hopefully you know I'm just kidding, but I do think there is great value in teaching the boys early to participate in keeping the house clean. I prefer to call it family service instead of chores. 
"Chores" just seems to have a negative connotation and I think it's great to teach them the value in serving their family.

So, here is where I need your help or prayers. It's a new year and we need a new family service system. We've tried many different methods, some of which have been very successful for a time and others that failed pretty quickly. 

Here are my thoughts and goals:
1) There are certain jobs around here that are expected of them just for being in our family. Most (NOT all) of the time they actually do a pretty good job of doing these jobs because it's become habitual.  (cleaning floor under the table after a meal, clearing their dishes, setting the table, emptying the dishes and silverware, putting away their laundry, etc.) Obviously Aaron (being 3) has less expected of him.  I need a system for assigning the boys their daily jobs. I've tried pocket wall charts and weekly schedules printed out and marked with stickers. Maybe I should revisit one of those? Any other ideas?

2) There are certain extra jobs that they should do when asked, but they are more above the daily stuff. I'm comfortable with rewarding them with a small allowance for completing these jobs (and have done so in the past). Jobs like: windexing windows, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning toilets, cleaning mirrors, cleaning stainless steel fridge, etc.  Trying to figure out if it's best to do it day by day or have a set cleaning day that we all work together. We've tried both. Any thoughts?

3) I want to set up a system that once set up is easy to manage and I'll be able to follow through with. 

4) I like the idea of cleaning being a team effort... especially since we're here all the time and put a lot of wear and tear on the house. I think we would all appreciate a cleaner living space. I want to teach them the value and discipline of keeping things clean and that takes effort! At times it feels so much easier if I do it myself, but I'm determined to patiently teach them what they are capable of learning. 

SO... do YOU have any methods you'd like to share? Any books or websites you can recommend? I'd love to hear what works for you.  I'll be sure to share what we decide to do. 

* Can you tell which boy is which in the photos above? :)

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