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Why My Children Do Chores

Why My Children Do Chores

WhyMyKidsDoChores1Are you one of those moms that does too much because you have children that don’t do very much.  Make it your goal to work yourself out of a job.  If a child can play a game on your iPad, he/she can help with chores.  Now doesn’t that hit you like a ton of bricks?  When I first read this, I was in total agreement.  It’s so true.  Sometimes, we as moms, do way too much for our kids.  You know how it goes, your oldest child might tend to spill too much so it’s easier for you to pour the milk for cereal rather than letting him try, spill, learn, and you’re on your way out of a simple job.  I’m totally guilty of this.  I hate messes, so I tend to do way too many little jobs for my kids just to make sure there is a not a huge mess to clean up afterwards.  But I know I’m just making my job as a mom harder in the long run.  Kids need to learn to help even if it makes a bigger mess.

Confession time…when I was a kid I remember my mom making me and my brother do a lot of chores around the house.  The worst one of all was dusting and I had the lucky job of dusting this curio cabinet that had glass shelves.  I had to take every single little Precious Moments figurine that my mom collected off each shelf and make sure the shelf was dust free.  This job was so awful!  It was meticulous and took what seemed like FOREVER to do.  The worst part to doing a lot of my chores as a child was that even though I ‘thought’ I was doing a really good job as a 10 year old, my mom would always come along after and redo whatever I had just done, because it wasn’t done as good as she would have done it.  It always used to really drive me crazy – I never could figure out why I needed to waste the time doing the chores if she was just going to redo them anyways.  I catch myself doing the same thing to my kids.  Why???  I have no idea, except that I’m a crazy neat freak.  But I’m trying really hard to not redo their work anymore.  I’m trying very hard to remember how old they are and what their actual abilities are and then asses their level of efficiency and effort.  Your kids absolutely should be helping you around your house.  They live there for free – so they should pitch in and help!

So the next question becomes, what chores should your kids do and should you pay them to do those chores?  Here’s what I think.  Yes, yes, yes!  I’m a big Dave Ramsey follower and we love his ideas on kids and money!  Dave believes that you, as parents, are the boss and your kids are your employees.  As a boss your kids work for you, and they should earn commission.  When they work, they get paid.  When they don’t work, they don’t get paid.  Simple as that.  It works too!  It also teaches kids the value of money.  Rather than just paying them because they breathe, this forces them to equate working hard for the money they want to spend on fun things.  This idea works really well when your children are old enough to really understand what their money can buy them.  We have three kids, ages 4, 6 and 9 right now.  We started doing commission for chores when my oldest was 4.  At that age he did very simple chores and was paid at the end of each week.  From his weekly commission earnings he would then distribute that between three different envelopes for Giving, Saving, and Spending.  We have taught all 3 of our kids these concepts and they each have a list of chores based off their ages and abilities that they earn commission for.  This process forces the kids to see chores not so much as a chore, but as a job they can earn money for.  When there is a special toy they want to buy we often have some requests for extra chores in order to earn bonuses, and sometimes they do business deals with each other - getting paid from a sibling to do their chore!  It’s great! To a mompreneur like me, I love seeing business deals happen with my young children (and so far, they have been very fair)!
Just in case you are wondering what type of chores I have my kids do each week here is a quick list:

9 year old:

  • Undo the dishwasher/Set the table (alternates with 6yr old)
  • Shovel the driveway and back patio (in the summer instead of this he cleans up dog poop)
  • Clean room and make bed
  • Vacuum
  • Take out trash

6 year old:

  • Undo the dishwasher/Set the table (alternates with 9yr old)
  • Dust
  • Clean room and make bed
  • Sharpen pencils (in summer instead of this she waters the flowers)

4 year old:

  • Collects the newspaper from driveway
  • Feed the dogs/let’s them out in morning
  • Make bed
  • Collect trash

Bonuses (when I’m feeling generous… I don’t always pay for these things, but sometimes I do, especially when they help without being asked and without expecting a bonus):

  • Clean the bathroom
  • Sweep/Mop kitchen floor
  • Clean basement toy room
  • Clean glass windows and patio doors
  • “Help” mow the lawn and trim bushes
  • Unpacking groceries and helping put food away
  • Prepping/Washing weekly veggies
  • Cooking
  • Pitching in and helping mom with whatever job she is doing without being asked

Do your kids do chores?  What ages and chores do they do?  Do you pay them?  Would love to hear what you have tried and what works for your family!  Hugs to all!


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January 25, 20162 commentsRead More
12 Days of Christmas – What An Awesome Way To Bless Someone

12 Days of Christmas – What An Awesome Way To Bless Someone

Seriously this is one of the coolest ideas I’ve heard of yet to celebrate Christ’s birth! An amazing lady from my church shared this wonderful idea with Kat_sonshinekidsour Women’s Ministry a few weeks ago and I think it’s such a great idea! So great in fact, that our family has decided on how we can participate in this idea for our own Christmas celebration this year! I really wish I would’ve have caught on to this idea years ago, but oh well – time for a new tradition!

The idea is that you pick a neighbor, friend, group of people, etc. who you want to bless over a span of 12 days before Christmas, ending with the 12thday on Christmas day. It’s suggested that you pick a family in need of cheering up, or a family that is currently having a hard time, or maybe a family new to the area. Then for 12 consecutive days you leave them little gifts or treats on their doorstep – but the trick is that you have to do this in secret! You do not want them to know how you are! On day 1 you might leave them 1 ornament with a note about the “On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me….”  On Day 2, maybe 2 cookies, and on and on up through day Day 12. On Day 12, your entire family shows up at their house with your final Day 12 gifts and you surprise the family you are blessing by personally giving them their 12th day gift. You get to reveal yourself and it’s so fun for the family to finally be let in on the secret. Isn’t that the coolest idea ever? My kids would be overjoyed to have little gifts left on our front door step for 12 straight days!  It’s like being “boo-ed” during Halloween, but so much better!

mx2Our family is adapting this idea to bless the amazing kids we met on our Mission Trip to San Felipe, Mexico last month! Our family, along with all our Mission Trip team members, have decided to send Sonshine Hacienda a huge box full of gifts for all the kids to share! We are going to wrap all the gifts according to which of the 12 Days of Christmas they are for and have the kids open up the gifts on the corresponding days. Quick background, my family and a big team from our local church, spent our Fall Break in October on a mission trip to San Felipe, Mexico to help out at home for abandoned/ abused children. You can read all about it by clicking here.  We had such a great time and met so many amazing kids that we wanted to extend our love and gratitude to them by sending them Christmas gifts. Here is what we are going to send them (a lot of the gifts are things the missionary couple that runs the Hacienda have asked for, and others are fun things we know they all would enjoy):

  • Day 1: One Advent calendar
  • Day 2: Two framed pictures of our group from when we were out there in October
  • Day 3: Three different ready-to-make ornament crafts for all the kids to make
  • Day 4: Four new board games like Jenga, Spot It, etc
  • Day 5: Five bottles of bubbles
  • Day 6: Six new shower curtains
  • Day 7: Seven bottles of body spray
  • Day 8: Eight new Spanish Bible Story books
  • Day 9: Nine packages of Spanish sticker books
  • Day 10: Ten new coloring books
  • Day 11: Eleven loofas and eleven super-hero wash cloths
  • Day 12: Ready to make cups for ALL the kids to make their own cupmx3

The list of things we are sending to them may sound silly, but to the kids that live at the Hacienda, this is going to be exciting! I wish we could be there to see the kids open their gifts each day! You can see that your list of things you might choose to bless a family with can be flexible and can suit that particular family.  Just have fun with it! Be the hands and feet of Jesus and really show how much you care this Christmas! You will be blessed in return!

Leave me a comment if your family have ever tried this idea before or if you plan to try it this year!

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November 19, 20140 commentsRead More
How a Mission Trip Challenged My Dream

How a Mission Trip Challenged My Dream

imageMy family and I just got back from our first family mission trip to San Felipe, Mexico. Rather than play and hang out during Fall Break, we packed our bags and headed to some warmer weather in Mexico! Me, my husband, and our two older kids went along with 34 others from our church to Sonshine Hacienda, a small orphanage in the heart of the city. Our plan was to conduct a Vacation Bible School at the Hacienda and at a local pastor’s house, as well as do some construction projects.

I’ve been on several mission trips before, to Mexico in fact. I honestly wasn’t expecting to have an “earth shattering” experience – I knew what to expect, I knew we would be surrounded by poverty, I knew it would be dirty, I knew there would be lots of trash in the streets, I knew the public sewage system would have it’s limits and that we could not flush toilet paper or drink the water, and I knew that the kids would be amazing and that they would giggle trying to understand my attempts at simple Spanish. I was expecting all of that. And all of that was true yet again. It’s not that the Lord didn’t teach me anything and that I wasn’t impacted by everything we did. What did happen is that very subtly the Lord taught me some powerful lessons about myself.

I learned:

  • God has a bigger plan for my talents than I can see in my narrow “Katrina tunnel”
  • God made me. He uniquely designed me, my abilities, my talents, my thoughts, and the entire journey of my life
  • God has a plan for my life.
  • God wants me to share all of me, my abilities, my talents, my thoughts, and the entire journey of my life with others to glorify Him.
  • God solidified a dream that I’ve had for years and is calling me to fulfill it.

I know all of that can sound cliché’, but for me in midst of singing songs, crafting, coloring, playing games, and teaching kids about the Love of Jesus I was reminded that just because I can’t take the best photos of the kids, or run the fastest when chasing them outside, or sing in tune when we sang songs, God still gave me a lot of talents and life experiences that He calls me to share in the place He has planted me. Not everyone can drop everything and head to a far off place to “serve”. But you can serve wherever you are. God has planted me and my family in the exact place he wants us to be, in the community He wants us to serve in and although the “service” looks different than it did in Mexico it’s still “serving”. It’s the same for you to.

The dream I’ve had for years has been an idea swirling in my head – but it’s been an idea that was so disjointed. It’s exactly this – what I’m doing right now – it’s a dream to share my life with others. To share my experiences, hobbies, talents, ideas, and lessons with moms to offer encouragement, grace and a most importantly, help. Help to get through this thing we call ‘Life’.

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October 29, 20140 commentsRead More