Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Things That Are Working

If I had to grade myself as a Mother on my success at teaching my kids to be responsible for themselves, their rooms, toys, chores etc... I would have to give myself a failing grade. I have tried so many ideas. Most of the time they fail because I'm such a lazy creature. I give up. Sometimes they fail because I just can't find a way to make my kids interested. Sometimes, a lot of times, I think back to my children hood and wonder how my Mom did it. I know she struggled with me. (maybe that's why I struggle to teach my kids) But really she did a good job at teaching us those all important skills. Except laundry where I have to give her a failing grade:-) Yes I never did a load of laundry until I was married. Poor Dave, I had no idea how to even use the machine. I don't blame her too much though for not wanting me to ruin her machine and her clothes. I have already decided that my kids will wash their own clothes separately when the time comes... Anyway... I struggle. How do other parents teach their children to be so responsible. My friends have their kids do jobs, make their beds...even showering is a chore over here. So after much thought I have come up with some ideas of my own and another gem from Family Fun (the chore sticks) to try yet again to get the kids into a good routine.


So here it is, the Wilcox plan:


First the kids get up and we all wash up.
Then it is downstairs for scripture study. (I'll have to post about that another day)
Then it is back to getting ready for school with the help of this handy dandy chart!



Emily has always needed a little extra help in the getting dressed department. She can spend an hour starring at her closet wondering what to wear. So I came up with this little flip book to help her decide.


We had a fashion show where she tried on every piece of clothes except play clothes that I don't let her wear to school. Then I made a section in the book with whole outfits that I bought to go together. There is a section of shirts and a section for bottoms. She can flip around and try different combinations until she finds what she wants to wear and then can go and get all the "pieces" that are in the picture that she needs.


When they are done with their chart Chase is off to school and Emily has a very convenient extra 30 minutes. This is the perfect time to do her piano practice. I haven't had a single complaint out of her yet. I know we are still in the "honeymoon" phase of her just starting. I sit down and do it with her. I think the trade off of working for getting some one on one time with me is the trick here. Then off she goes.

When the kids come home they have until 6:00 to play with friends either outside, in the house, on play dates or in the park. At 6:00 I call them in and we have dinner, do homework, read from what ever book we are reading in and then the kids pull sticks, without looking, for chores. There are three free sticks in the bunch and they are always hopeful that one of their two chores or maybe even both will be free-bees. But I think they also like the change everyday, instead of doing the same old chore everyday.

After all of that if they have extra time they can do whatever they want until bedtime.
Bed time is a 8:00 and then much to my relief the day is over!!!

And so far it is working well...

9 comments:

Sarah said...

That getting dressed book is such a smart idea!

Heather said...

I'm going to have to steal the chore sticks idea.

April said...

I like the chore sticks, I'm glad to see wipe chairs on there too because that is Elise's favorite thing to do. I'm also glad that Emily's book is working. Darling! I've been doing my own laundry since I was about 10, but that is not to say that I was really taught. It's been trial and error since I've been on my own with a lot of set in stains, shrinkage and ruined items. I think I finally have it down, so when you teach them my advice is to TEACH them and not just have them do their own laundry. Anyway-good job!

The Roberts' Report said...

I think you are on the right track. My mom always changed up the different ways of telling us what our chores were. It's more fun that way! Some times healthy compitions are good too...like...you sweep the kitchen first and then I will and who's every pile is bigger doesn't have to wash the dishes!
P.S. Have you tried getting Emily to pick her clothes out the night before? Or just settle on getting uniforms!! Way better!!

Kath said...

What a great idea. I am going to copy you. I can totally relate to feeling like a failure in teaching my kids to be responsible.
And thanks for the leg comment on my blog! Just another reason to keep you as a friend :)

Lisa said...

Love the job sticks idea. Totally going to copy that one. I love switching it up all the time!!! The kids love it too. Anything gets old after a while! Good job.

Nicole said...

I love the book for Emily. How cute. You are way nicer than I am- I just yell at jessie and tell her to figure it out...

Familia Bethers said...

You are by far the most creative mom I know! You really have a lot of positive energy to pass along to your kids! I love your ideas Jen!

Cathy said...

Wow! I admire you organization!That getting dressed book is awesome.