Welcome to yet another installment of, "this thing is going to change my life."
The thing that is currently changing my life is a chore can. The chore can is our summer 2009 work/incentive program. I predict it will last for 2 weeks. Because that is how long every other work/incentive program has lasted. I'm just saying.
Here's how it works:
Each kid has their own can with chores written on sticks. Currently there are 2 chores each child has to do before they can play with friends, watch TV, play Wii, or participate in any act of awesome summer spontaneity. Currently those chores are:
Make your bed and pick up your clothes
Read for 20 minutes
I know, I'm being too easy on the kids, right? Well next week, I'm adding another chore. And each week after that, they will get another chore. This could potentially mean each kid will have 13 daily chores by the end of the summer.
That's the part where I "boil the frog," so to speak. Soon they will be mine...all MINE! I'll have them doing dishes, making dinner, cleaning the garage, taking out garbage, mowing the lawn, giving the cars oil changes and more.
Unless this whole program goes kaput after 2 weeks.
The incentives for completing chores are as follows:
Weekly: for a week of 100% completed chores, each child can choose from rewards such as, taking a walk with mom or dad, picking out a family movie, choosing a special dessert or dinner.
Long Term: Each day kids get to add a piece of elbow macaroni to a jar for every chore they do. When the jar is full, we get a trip to Chuck E. Cheese.
The long term reward inspires kids to help each other with their chores because the more chores completed, the sooner the trip to Chuck E. Cheese is earned. To be perfectly honest, this was a benefit I stumbled upon after implementing the program. I lucked into it.
The other thing I lucked into is the ability to assign extra chores. During the day, when I come up with something extra that needs to be done, I offer an extra piece of macaroni or two, which is currently enough incentive for the kids to do what I ask.
What I love is that I'm not doling out money for chores.
It is so wrong that I should have to pay my kids for something they should be doing for free; for room and board for crying out loud. I can't stand when they expect money for helping out. With this plan, no one is asking for money. They are all working towards a common goal.
This could be the greatest, most life changing program of my whole mothering career.
Or, it could all peter out after next week. I'll be sure to let you know.