Kids can and will help

I woke up this morning to the sound of someone else’s very loud radio alarm and a sinus headache.  How do you teach alarm clock etiquette to children???  I’ve made this deal with them that they can get up w/ their alarm clock at 6:30 if they want (I wake kids at 7)- IF they get completely ready for school before playing or watching TV.  For a while, it was just #2 kid and that creature of habit was doing really well (except for the alarm clock- he can’t get the volume adjusted to loud enough to wake him but not loud enough to wake everyone else).  #1 gets half ready.  #3 does nothing until he gets in trouble. 

I’ve been meaning to share something that I started last week that is working out really well.  Quite a while ago, I made 3 chore lists for the boys that we rotate between them.  A week or so ago, I ordered the Brat Factor (Pam and Peggy Young) 3×5 card download at .  I knew better than to print all the cards and think I would do them all.  Instead, I made a to-do list from the card system for the bathrooms and the laundry room and taped them inside the medicine cabinets and laundry shoot doors.  These are now part of the boy’s daily chore list (along with feeding animals, etc)  Every day of the week has a different chore.  Some of them Pam and Peggy recommend be done daily but since many of them were not done at all before, I made them weekly chores- adapted it to fit out life (we tolerate more dirt than others apparently- lol).  It’s working out quite well!!  Most chores are obvious that they are done- I see the start of clean surfaces after the boys work!!!  I need to get them to put their cleaning supplies back better but otherwise I am very proud of them!!

Sidebar- the boys chores (they are 10,8,6-well, just turned 7) come with these rules attached to them: 

  1. We eat supper when the work is done – or we go to their activity when the work is done, whichever comes first.
  2. They get paid, but only when they know they did the chores and ask to be paid.  It’s not mom’s job to pay them if they don’t come to her.  They then decide whether to keep the money or put it in the vacation fund piggy bank (a larger than a  shoe box box with a slot in it- when it’s full we can take a special vacation!)


Anyway, my point being- maybe I need to make morning routine lists for them so they can get themselves ready the same way they do their chores.

Here’s an example of one of  the boys’ chore lists:

  1. Feed and water dog
  2. Dump little garbage cans into big one, tie it shut, put in fresh bag.
  3. Pick up any garbage and dirty dishes in living room.
  4. Do upstairs bathroom chore
  5. Spend 15 min. on a 4-H project of your choice

I gave them step by step instructions at first to help them know they were getting the jobs done right.   The bathroom  and laundry room chore lists have step by step instructions because these chores are new to them.  Here’s an example of one but without all the detailed instructions:

  • Monday- bathtub
  • Tuesday-sink
  • Wednesday-toilet
  • Thursday- tub/shower walls
  • Friday- mirror
  • Saturday-floor
  • Sunday-shelf/window sill 

I guess I’ll get back with you when I have a morning routine list made up.  For more tips like this try or or the Brat Factor site I mentioned earlier


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Filed under Home tips, Kid tips, survival tips for moms of school age children

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