I spent some time writing out what needed to be done, who was capable of doing it, and how to divide it up fairly.
Here is the new plan...
clean kitchen and dining room table
straighten up toy closet
clean boys' room
pick up stuff off of stairs
bring down laundry
organize shoe closet
clean Noah's room
clean her "room"
**all kids put away their clean clothes from the laundry room
Most of these are the same as before, but I switched some of Caleb and Ethan's jobs, and made the kitchen/dining area Anna's responsibility. Moriah has decided to make our toy closet "her room," so taking care of her stuff in there is now part of her jobs.
Then there are those other jobs. You know, the ones that
you can't wait until your kids are old enough to do for you teach beneficial life skills, responsibility, and are part of being a family.
So I made a list of jobs that need to be done weekly, or at the least every other week. I divided them up according to difficulty and time required and assigned them out. I haven't decided yet if we'll try and do one per day, or just knock it all out on Saturday.
Now, lest you think I view my children as my personal servants, these jobs all require training and often assistance. Also, I have plenty of other things that are helpful to the family (um...laundry, meals, diapers, fill in the blank) that by teaching my children these jobs, will free everyone up to have more "fun" time together. I could write a whole post on why teaching children from a very young age to be good helpers is beneficial, and how we are all a family and we work together, but that's not the point right now.
clean master bathroom
vaccum upstairs & downstairs
collect and take out the house trash
clean upstairs bathroom
sweep stairs, wipe down refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher
pick up toys in the yard
clean downstairs bathroom
wipe window sills in dining room and living room
sweep the front porch
clean front and back door
After lunch, we have what we call Lunch Jobs. Basically, everyone helps straighten up after the morning play and school time.
Anna~ help clean kitchen
Caleb~ help clean kitchen
Ethan~ straighten foyer and master bedroom, help Moriah
Moriah~ clean living room
If you wonder why I have the kids helping clean our bathroom and bedroom, it's because the master is the only bedroom downstairs, it's also where our tv is, so the kids are in and out of there A LOT. They get those rooms way messier than Glen and I do, so they help clean them. Our room is also used as a naptime room.
After lunch is nap/quiet time, and after nap time, everyone is responsible for cleaning up whatever room they were in.
After naptime, if all school work is finished, they basically have free time. Around 4:30ish, we have afternoon clean up. Everyone helps to clean up the downstairs.
One thing we started, oh, probably when I was pregnant with Haven and zapped at the end of the day was teaching the kids to help clean up after dinner. That kind of goes back to the they-make-a-way-bigger-mess-than-Glen-and-I-do category, so it only made sense. I am thankful my husband had the insight and forethought to think that would be beneficial.
Before now, Moriah and Ethan cleared the table, while Anna and Caleb took turns sweeping and wiping the table, but this was an area I decided to tweak as well. Since Anna now has the full responsiblity of this area in the morning, I only thought it fair that Caleb had the responsiblity after dinner. Granted, after dinner is a bigger job than in the morning, but Glen and I help him with it. This is our after dinner clean up plan...
empty out upstairs basket, put everyone's stuff on his or her bed
wipe, sweep, help Mom and Dad in kitchen
This is actually a really good plan for our family, and I am excited to implement our changes. We have found that it is extremely beneficial for children to have their time defined (even if it is "free time") in order to keep out of mischief, arguments, and crazy destructiveness. If everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing, it helps our days run much more smoothly. My greatest challenge in this is dealing with complaining, dawdling, and not doing one's job as unto the Lord. There are too many days I find myself blowing off job time when I don't want to deal with kids who would rather play than help.
So much of parenting comes back to one's own selfishness and lack of discipline...for me it does anyway. It's so much easier to let the kids run
wild free and read all day. But alas, I need to be the mom. Not just write about it :o)
PS ~ Happy Birthday to my Dad today! I love you!
And Happy Birthday (yesterday) to my little-sister-turned-Mom, Dyana. I can't believe you are 27! I am so glad we are best friends now and have left our mortal enemies days behind. It has been so fun, and such a privilege to watch you grow in the grace of motherhood. You are such a blessing to me, and I thank the Father for giving me such a blessing as you for a sister.