Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Little Texan Worker Bees

After reading my blog for more than a few days, I'm betting you must say to yourself, "How DOES she do it? Her house is so organized! And she just glides through her housework! And she has time to write a blog too!"

Wait, no? That's not what you say?

Okay, well good. If you did think that, I might ask if English was your second - or third - language. Or if you are confusing my blog with someone else's. But, I do have a pretty good system in place for our family to get all the jobs done that require getting done. Thus allowing me time to blog. It's all about the blog.

Now, I love to tell my kids that life isn't fair. Get used to it. But at the same time I try to make it as fair as possible because kids really do understand "fair" pretty well.

Here's our home system:
Every kid (except the baby) gets a "day". Peppermint Patty's days are Monday and Thursday; Charlie Brown's are Tuesday and Friday; Linus' are Wednesday and Saturday. On your day you get to:
pick the tv show we watch
sit in the middle row of the van
be served first at dinner
be excused from dinner table clean-up
get 30 minutes of computer time
And you also get to:
be the first one in the shower

This system works FANTASTIC for us because I don't have to try to remember, "Wait, who went first the last time? Who's turn is it now?" while the kids are arguing in the background, "IT was ME! NO, IT WAS ME!!!" Plus, my kids have learned all about turn-taking and equality. If they think it's no fair that they can't sit where they want at the dinner table, then I just say, "on your day you can pick your own seat. Today is someone else's day. You'll get a chance. You always do." And they always do.

Next, chores.
We have a cute little "chore wheel". And, of course, I have added my own name to the mix, just to cut down on the "Why do WE have to do all the work?" I have an argument lined up for that question, but I just don't feel like explaining myself on most days. So, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we rotate the wheel and everyone does their chore for the day. It rotates so everyone gets to do all the chores and no one is stuck with the crappy chores every time. Again, very fair. The chores we all do from the chore wheel are: vacuum under kitchen table, bring the laundry to the laundry room, empty the small trash cans into the main trash can, and clean off the bathroom countertop and sink.

And, did I mention, it cuts down on the headaches? It really does.


Karly said...

I really like your "days" idea. My kids would love that. Their biggest argument is who gets to sit in the front of the bath (they bathe together because I am lazy) and who gets to sleep on the top bunk. Hmm. Must think about this more.

McVal said...

I like the days thing too! However with the kids varied schedules, it may not work all the time. For a while, we did alternating weeks for who got to sit in the front seat of the car, because EVERYone yells "Shotgun!"
My poor youngest never gets to sit up front... but eventually she'll get in the mix.

Jennifer said...

Sounds good to me, and a lot better than anything I could have come up with. Can you say "cage match"?

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

That sounds like a really great idea (the days!). I may have to snag it from ya :)

Wendy said...

I like it! I like the chore wheel, too. Hmmmm....

Jen said...

what a fabulous idea. I am totally going to try this. I love the day idea most. awesome. you really are good at this mommy stuff you know.

jori-o said...

Hmmm...I may borrow your Busy Bee brilliance!

Anna See said...

these are great! since i just have two, there's not much jockeying for position, but i'll keep these in mind. love the job wheel. i have a job jar. but we all kind of forgot about it.

Jake said...

This is a great method! I used this for my bunk when I was a camp counselor, and the bunk stayed clean as a whistle.

If you have older kids (who can read and are familiar with e-mail), check out a website I made called PowrHouse (at http://powrhouse.net/ ). It's currently in beta, but it works well (we're using it for our household). You add everyone you live with (kids, spouses, roommates, etc.), add your chores (names and how often they should be done), and PowrHouse keeps track of whose turn it is to do each chore (and sends email reminders every night, with links to click to signal that you've done the chores).