I know they need chores and we should have started this years ago. I know, I know, I know. It’s important for them to understand life doesn’t revolve around their every want and need and we all have to work together to keep this home going. For goodness sake, would you please stop throwing your socks all over the living room floor or at least pick them up yourselves without waiting for me to do it for you?
We’ve made good efforts in the past to enforce chores and whatnot. And the rule still is if they keep their rooms clean for a week, they get a dollar on Sundays. Guess how many times that has happened?
I am not out all that many dollars, is what I’m saying.
Occasionally, my son will want to earn money to purchase weird, zombie-type game apps and is willing to sweep the floor and unload the dishwasher.
But I think it’s time to be more serious. We need to have a schedule and rules and consistency.
Implementing a regular chore chart is going to be difficult. We’ve been talking about it for a while and how we expect them to start working around the house more since my husband and I spend 70 percent of our time at home picking up all of the random junk that ends up on the floor. But the kids don’t seem to be too keen on the idea.
My youngest, my daughter, has no concept of money and the fact she can buy things with it. We very rarely take her to the store because she’s insane and we lost her one time in a huge, packed store. No one has recovered yet. Since she hasn’t seen actual money transactions very often, I think she thinks toys and books and fun stuff just show up in her hands through no effort of her own. Which is true, actually.
Both of the kids really enjoy helping, though. Setting and clearing the table can sometimes be a battle to see who can put the most dishes on the table and clear the most off, which has obvious ramifications.
I mean, there’s only so many glasses that can be broken before we’re all drinking out of Spider-Man cups.
Although, now that I think about it, their excitement with helping probably has more to do with competing with each other than actually helping their parents. I’m willing to accept that, though.
But they do like to feel included, like they’re doing something that contributes, like they’re responsible members of our family and that we appreciate their contributions. So I think it will be good.
I think they’ll adjust well in spite of all the whining and complaining about me being the worst mom ever and why can’t they just watch television instead of dusting. Having responsibilities will be good for them and for all of us.
Plus it means less work for me, which leaves me more time for watching television.
This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on March 25, 2015.