Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kids & Chores!

Chores can ONLY HELP our kids!!!

Wondering how many moms give their kids chores?  Do you see any wrong in it or do you think it cannot only help you out but help them too?

Well, I personally see no wrong in giving chores to our kids.  I see so many children that are only stuck to their electronic devices all day long.

You see this in the car, at the table, in the stores, at family gatherings and so much more.  Well, not only do I feel that too many children are just stuck on their electronics but I also believe that many children feel they just deserve it.  Well, that is far from my thought process.  Our children do not truly need these devices.  Yes, they can come in handy at times but not 24/7.  Plus I honestly believe that a parent can use these devices as a reward once chores are completed.  

I see so many parents that have their children in so many sports.  Okay, I am not saying, at all, that it's bad too because I can just think about how many moms will start complaining.  But I do believe things should come in moderation.  Today as a society we have become so distant.  As adults, we are even stuck on our electronics.  It is sad when you hear that texting and driving has killed and hurt more people than drinking and driving.  It worries me quite a bit.  

All I know is that with my daughters, since I have been a single mom for so many years, I have felt that it is important for them to help me around the house.  Even when I owned my boutique in Florida, I had them be with me and help me.  I taught them how to run the cash register, they even created their own Lemonade stand, helped me pass out flyers, tag inventory for me, etc...They saw how hard I worked and then had to come home to continue working.  At home, since they were young, I would have them help me cut the grass but of course with my presence, right by their side.  I have always had them help me clean, wash clothes, etc...

A mom is truly a job that is never done.  I created chores for them at home not only so they can help me but so they can learn.  It is very simple, if they do not help, they will not have privileges.  Meaning no having friends over, no going out, no movies, no phones, no parties, etc...  I feel we need to teach our children that life is not all fun and games and it is not all about sports too.  We have to learn to have a balance or at least try to teach them how to have a balance and Yes, I have my reasons for writing this blog right now.  Lol

Just these past few days, my teen and I have been driving around, finding a dress for her dinner gathering with friends, shopping with her own money, mani, pedi, eyebrow waxing, wanting to always be doing something with the friends...Well I simply had asked to wash the dishes for me the other night. She did not do it as she was on her phone talking away with her friends.  So I went ahead, cleaned up all of the dishes, went to bed, took her to work the following morning and when I picked her up from work and she asked if I was still going to be able to take her and her friends to the mall, I said "No".  Well, Well, Well, let's just say the frown turned upside down, the teenage hormones kicked in as well as the attitude and that was all I needed.  No Friends!  Time to remind her that those are privileges and rewards for helping, because life is not all about fun and games.  I sat down and even spoke to her of why I was mad, why I said that horrible 2 letter word "NO".  I explained how I take so much of "MY TIME" to drive her around, take her to places, shop, allow her to be with friends, for friends to come over, to use her cell phone, etc...and I also explained how quickly it can all be taken away.  Once we talked for quite some time and I told her how I felt, even though it took some time, my words sunk in.  She asked for me to create a list of chores she could help me with tomorrow and what we needed to do.  I was happy because I brought her back to earth and reminded her how in life nothing comes for FREE!

But before she came to her senses, she did cop the attitude and be that moody teen that we, as moms, know and love.  See, this week is her birthday.  She turns the big "17".  She has 2 part time jobs, a checking account and savings account.  I also have her pay a 10% fee which goes towards the gas that I use for her to be driven to work, shopping, etc...  Each of my girls must put a certain amount into their savings and after the 10% fee, that is the money they have to shop, eat with their friends or go to a movie.  BUT the job and privilege of having and using electronics does come at an additional price.  And that price is the price of working in the  house and helping out with the chores.  They must help wash everyones clothes, clean, wash dishes and now are learning to cook with me.  Hey, I will not lie.  I do not have it all figured out.  I too struggle.  I wonder "Am I doing right or not?"  "Am I too hard on them?" many questions but I will tell you this, when I sit back and see them, I know I am doing well.  Life has not been easy for them.  Being a single mom and going through a lot in life and even being laid off was not easy but I do not regret any of it as hard as it has been for us all.  We have learned many lessons in life and still have many to more to learn.  

For all of you moms that spend so much of your time with your children out, spoiling them, always supporting them in what ever sport they play...that is great but just think to yourself "would it all even be better if my child has to work towards getting this reward?"  And try to be Honest with yourself.  

Technology has its good and bad.  Good part is that if you are thinking about what I have written now, then Google away.  You can find lists that are age appropriate.  You can find a bunch of different ideas.  You can even find different type of contracts that you and your child or children can sign together and have a binding document between the both of you.  Just a thought.

Here is one of the many lists that I found that can be helpful;

Regular Chores for Teens

  • Vacuum living room, hallways, bedrooms, and stairs
  • Sweep kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Dust living room, bedrooms, and office space
  • Dust ceiling fans
  • Wipe off the washer and dryer
  • Vacuum the furniture
  • Straighten the living room
  • Lint brush furniture
  • Wipe baseboards
  • Clean doorknobs and light switches
  • Water plants
  • Organize drawers 
  • Organize bedroom closet
  • Take care of items for recycling 
  • Take the trash out to the street for pick up
  • Empty the trash from various rooms
  • Cook dinner (leave instructions)
  • Make lunch for siblings
  • Pick up a few grocery items from the store
  • Wash and dry laundry
  • Fold a load of laundry
  • Match socks
  • Clean the kitchen counters
  • Wash the front of the cupboards
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Clean the bathroom sink, mirror and toilet
  • Shake out area rugs
  • Wash dishes
  • Feed the pet
  • Walk the pet or clean litter
  • Wash the pet or pet’s things
  • Clean windows 
  • Clean refrigerator shelves and door; inside and out
  • Clean out the old food in the refrigerator
  • Clean the toaster, unplug and dump the crumbs
  • Mop floors
  • Replace light bulbs
  • Organize the food in the pantry
  • Sanitize surfaces
  • Clean fingerprints off screens, like TV and laptops
  • Brush the pets outside to reduce shedding indoors
  • Iron clothes
  • Organize the garage
  • Wash the walls
  • Organize bookshelves

Spring/Summer Chores for Teens

  • Mow the lawn
  • Trim the lawn
  • Trim the bushes
  • Help with landscaping projects, like spreading mulch or building a rock wall
  • Weed the garden
  • Wash the car
  • Vacuum the car
  • Clean outdoor furniture
  • Get outdoor items out of storage and ready for use
  • Watch siblings during summer break
  • Gather unwanted items to donate or sell in a yard sale
  • Wash outdoor items, like boats, ATVs, campers, or other outdoor items

Fall Chores for teens

  • Rake the lawn 
  • Blow the leaves off the driveway
  • Help clean the gutters
  • Clean out the garden
  • Clean outdoor items and help store them for winter

Winter Chores for Teens (of course depending where you live)

  • Shovel snow
  • Clean snow off of the car

Work with your teen on identifying a regular chore schedule. Give your teen daily chores, as well as bigger chores to do on the weekends or during school vacations. 
Use chores as a way to help your teen become more responsible, but make sure your teen doesn't take on too many chores. Find a healthy balance that will give your child plenty of time to do homework and have some fun, while also teaching valuable skills of life.  And at the end of it all, they just need to learn that nothing in life comes for FREE! 

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