Saturday, January 5, 2008

It's a losing battle, I know but still.....

For years, I have been on a never ending quest to get my children to actually help around the house. Their attitude is if I leave it long enough, mom will just pick it up. And the worst part is that is usually true. So by the time I pick up all of the various toys, clothes and miscellaneous unknown objects from around the house, I have used up all my "spare" time that was meant for cleaning. This means that the house gets rather dirty and when I actually do get around to cleaning it takes me an entire Saturday to scrub the filth off of the floors, walls, showers, etc. This makes for a very unhappy mom.

I have tried putting stuff in a basket on the stairs or just piling it on the stairs but they walk right past it and if the pile has grown so big that they can't walk past it, they step over it. If I say it's time to pick up, ultimately one child will say "But I didn't make the mess". Hmmm, I guess it would be the mess fairy that resides in our attic on his off days.

And forget about them actually lifting a finger to clean anything in the house. Their idea of dusting is to blow the top layer of dust off their furniture and be done with it. And picking up clothes means just throwing them all in the hamper, dirty or not. Shoes are thrown behind the door or in the bottom of the closet. Forget cleaning the sink. We could scrape enough toothpaste out of the sinks to clean all the teeth of those poor third world children. Not really (and that does sound pretty gross) but it is bad.

So what I have been doing obviously is not working. Meaning that the screaming and fussing just doesn't cut it. So as part of my new self (you know the "life changes" I have proposed), I decided to come up with a better method. Drum roll please.................

The Chore Chart

Now, I had no idea how to make this work so that it would reward the kids without them actually thinking they should be paid for doing something that they should be doing for nothing. Today, I came across a new website that may have just provided me with the answer. It proposes to help restore your "little angel through positive reinforcement". The website is Childzilla and although it is still in Beta testing, I liked what I saw.

You set up an account for each child listing their chores and the day(s) that they are to be done. When they have completed the said chores, they earn points (which you have assigned) and are able to choose a reward from a predefined list (which you have also created). Sounds pretty good so far right?

So I have the big job of defining who gets what chore when. I make up the chart, print it out, then when the chore is complete, the child (or parent if said child is not capable) can go online and check off the chore and get their points.

I am certain this is going to be the answer I am looking for. What could go wrong? Unless of course that mess fairy in our attic starts leaving things all over the house again. Maybe I should make a chart for him, just in case.


Kit said...

Thanks for the info on Childzilla! I've opened an account with them, too. Hopefully it will work. I'm tired of pulling out my hair because of undone chores. Sadly, I spent 2 hours in the boys' room yesterday putting stuff away, reorganizing, and yes, to their surprise, throwing things away. So thank you so very much for sharing this website. You always find some good ones!