chores, chores, chores.

This post and the idea behind it was birthed more out of desperation than inspiration.  But, maybe the two go hand in hand.  Some of my best ideas come from being stuck and needing a way to move forward.  Am I making any sense?

I think my workload has increased by 300% since the birth of #3.  Seriously.  My house shrunk by at least 50% if not more. All of a sudden not only was it terribly messy, but there was no where to put all the stuff!  Ack.  How does this happen?

Anyway, I needed some help, major help.  Aside from dreaming about having a maid, chef, and personal servant, I was pretty stuck, and feeling very overwhelmed.

It had occurred to me that the girls are at really good ages to begin helping a lot more around the house.  I will admit that their school schedule makes this very tough, but I still thought they could be inspired to do a little more than they were.

After chatting with a friend, I decided to implement a new system.  The concept is simple.  They girls are expected to do certain chores every day and certain other chores every week.  They are rewarded for showing initiative.


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Most are simple things like pick up after themselves before they go to bed, but others require some training like helping to cook dinner by chopping or peeling some vegetables. If they do their chores without having to be reminded, they get a reward.  Usually 5 or 10 cents.  On the contrary, if they do not do their chores and I have to do it for them, I get a reward, quite a bit more.  Usually 25 cents.

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That's a lot to keep track of, so we have three glass jars set out all the time.  They all start out with $2 worth of coins in them.  Mine is the large one in the middle.  The girls are in charge of rewarding themselves, if they show initiative.  And, if I do their chores, I'll pay myself as well.
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At the end of the week, any extra money they have above $2, they get to keep.  But, if they have less than $2, they refill their own jar back up with their own money.
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The first week we used this system, the girls were sooo excited to do their chores, they were practically fighting over who go to be my helper.  As the weeks have worn on, the novelty has worn off, and I have slacked off too, so we are not quite as diligent.  But, in general, we are all working better together.  And, I really like that the girls are learning how to contribute to the family too.
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What are your best home-running ideas?