I didn’t spend all weekend lounging by a mountain creek with a bucket of KFC, you know. I did get some work done after we returned home from our day in the mountains — I cut paper, drew pictures, stickered things and laminated. And here is the the result of all my efforts.
A new chore system! Isn’t that exciting?
I’ve tried various chore systems with the boys over the years, and while each system was useful, the boys still rely on me part of the time to “remind” them. Since I have lost my brain to Lyme, “reminding” is ridiculously hard for me to do because it requires that I remember in the first place. And I don’t remember anything.
So I’ve been searching for a way to encourage the boys to be fully responsible for their chores without me checking and reminding. I am cautiously hopeful that I have found it. You can follow along with this as we go, watch and learn from our failures . . . . . . I mean successes (thinking positive here).
We are in Phase One right now, which is purposely simple so the boys can catch on quickly. When they complete their morning chores, they get 1 ticket. When they complete their midday chores, they get 1 ticket. When they complete their evening chores, they get 1 ticket. Then they can use their tickets to “buy” 15 minutes of computer time, outside play, a park day, or a day working with Daddy. Though I encourage them to use their tickets, they have to learn to plan ahead and always keep atleast one ticket on hand because Sid usually asks one of the boys to come with him at the last minute. Park days are also last minute decisions.
At the end of the day, if they have earned all their tickets, they get to check off one square on the date card. When they have earned 10 checks, they get a special date with me. I am particularly excited about that part, because Sidney has been asking for special time with me. This keeps me accountable too, to make sure I get to spend some one-on-one time with each boy. Sidney is eagerly planning a date to an antique store.
The coolest thing about this new system, besides the fact that the boys become fully responsible for their own chores, is that it also incorporates learning about earning, saving and spending money; serving and helping others without pay AND helps correct some bad habits (like leaving shoes in the floor instead of on the shoe shelf). This system answers a lot of questions I’ve been puzzling over for years, and I’m excited about giving it a try and tweaking it.
We are currently on Day 2 with the new system, and both boys are enthusiastic and hopping right to their chores. Funny how a little “ticket” with a sticker star is so exciting for them. As soon as I get them going, I will start Rachel. She will LOVE this!
Now that I’ve blathered on about all these big plans, I need somebody to check in with me in a month or so to ask how it is going. If I know somebody is paying attention, I might be more accountable to stick with it.