April 20, 2012

Making Life Easier With Kids

I've been spoiled not having kids here the past few month so I can work fast and efficiently. I'm not going to lie; I could run errands for hours without someone having to go potty, ask for food, cry, whine, this, that and the other. It was awesome!!! But, realistically speaking, I've had a hard time adjusting to life with kids again and after three hectic weeks, I needed a plan. Now, I'm not the first person to implement chores or some reward system. J and I grew up with two completely different upbringings and butted heads on the topic of allowance. He got one, I didn't. I was told chores were just part of being a family. And, it wasn't until I saw what my kids were doing on their own with my parents that I realized I was working way too hard at home and doing too many things for the girls. All of the above inspired my chore charts and reward. Not only did I feel like I was barking orders and constantly reminding my kids to do the same things EVERY DAY, but I was also barking orders and constantly reminding J of what the kids were capable of and what expectations I had for them as well. First and foremost, I believe that when you are a part of a family, it's your responsibility as a family member to help out in all areas. I also believe that doing chores are something that's expected and that you shouldn't be paid an allowance for doing things expected of you. However, I do feel that you should receive praise for a job well done and encouragement and positive re-enforcement is needed for motivation. Everything I have blogged about thus far helped me create an organization system for the kids that they love too. First, I went looking for magnetic boards. I didn't want a calendar chore chart and I didn't want to place stickers down after the chores had been completed. I wanted a chart I could easily move things on and off with no mess so I figured magnets were the way to go. I was going to frame a cookie sheet but decided I wanted a magnetic dry erase board to achieve my goal for the chore chart. I saw some at Target but ended up using my 50% off coupons at JoAnns and got two huge magnetic dry erase boards for $12.99 plus tax. Then I browsed the sticker section. Man did I get overwhelmed!!! I probably spent three hours starring at stickers and brainstorming what I wanted to do. In the end, I settled on two different colors of letters and my permanent markers at home. I began to think that if I made my boards too fancy, it would be distracting to the chores and the whole point was to keep it simple. I also figured my chart needed three things: a name, the chores to be done and the finished chores. The other tough part was deciding how to list the chores. H can read but and E can't; I needed pictures of the chores and wanted the word with it like a flash card to teach them the word like a flash card. I was all set to draw out 40 different magnets when I found something so perfect on ETSY, I couldn't possibly think of making the magnets any better myself. So (GASP!!!!) I actually bought the magnets from AbbiesHouse to spare me the time. And, coincidentally, she had designed chore charts nearly identical to the charts I had made!!! I was beside myself; great minds think alike I guess! So here's the finished project, complete with my little Vanna White. FYI... she was not prompted to pose for the picture, it's her new thing to model stuff!
As far as the reward goes, you may or may not notice the star on the done side. At the end of the day, The kids get a star on their side signifying "jobs completed". If they get a star, the add a star shaped bead to a simple string necklace. That way, they can wear their stars around like a badge or sticker. I will be writing on the dry erase side things they can ear for a certain number of beads. They can exchange their beads for new coloring books, trips to certain parks, etc... Also, their are round heart magnets I use to tell them I love them and they can bring it to me for additional work that isn't on a magnet to earn extra beads too.

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