Thursday, June 18, 2009

Boiling the Frog

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.


Gwendolyn Oliphant said...

That sounds really creative. I hope it works out long term.

When I was younger my mom paid me a dollar every time I practiced the piano. I usually just used the money to buy American Girl doll clothes. Looking back, it sounds kind of ridiculous and I am surprised my mom agreed to it.

But today I can play the piano. So I guess it worked.

Emily Laing said...

Love the macaroni idea...

Erika said...

Yes, the macaroni idea is awesome. We gave in and decided to pay the kids this summer each week they did all their chores without complaining. The older kids get $5 a week and the younger ones get $2. If they whine or are naughty then they get a dollar taken away. But, this money isn't just for them to blow on whatever, even though they may end up doing just that. The older kids are responsible for buying their own school clothes this Fall. Hopefully this will help them learn how to manage their money. If they blow it then they won't have any new clothes for school. We'll see how it all turns out!

shiguy4076 said...

that is a excellent plan.

Senia said...

Brilliant. By the end of summer, you could be hiring them out to others to earn some Cold Stone money for yourself! Just putting that out there.

Catherine said...

I've been doing a marble jar for a couple of months now. Both kids have their own jar and they get marbles for their weekly chores, plus helpful daily stuff that they do. Rusty just got a marble for helping to pour the milk for lunch (with help) and Bruce got a marble for making the sandwiches. During the week Bruce gets a marble for getting himself ready for daycare without help and without a ton of reminders and Rusty gets a marble for putting on his own shoes and socks. We also have a list of things that can result in having a marble taken away like having to be told more than 3 times to do something. It's been a good system.

Angela Hunter said...

Your chore can/sticks turned out great!

Betty Grace said...

How big is the jar? that could take a while to fill with mac.

I just do weekly chores. Once a week they each have a bathroom to clean and they have to clean their rooms and pick up everything that is theirs around the house. If they get the basic chores done, then they can do extra for money.

We need some kind of reading rule. But since I'm not around during the day to enforce, I'm guessing it will be a waste of breath.

For my new house, I'm going to get bins. One with each of our names. Anything i find laying around the house during the week goes into each person's bin which they have to empty each week while doing chores. Anything in the bin more than a week, I assume they don't want and can give or throw away. We'll see...

Afton said...

It is actually a pint jar and I measured out how many macaroni it would take to fill it and did some quick math to factor in imperfection and made sure they would be able to fill it by the end of the summer. they will be able to, even if they skip a lot of chores, but if they do well, they could earn it in maybe twice over the summer.

Afton said...

ok this is not realy afton it is ethan it is the second week of summer vacatoin and the jar is about a fith full

Erika said...

Way to go Ethan! Keep up the good work!!