Housework Help

In order to earn back his iPad time, The Boy has agreed to do some chores to “pay back” his half of the repair bill.  We’ve developed a system, and we’ve tweaked it a bit, too, with input from his veryownself.  Within the past few days, he has voiced the desire to get this all done by the time school starts…  on Monday.  If you remember, this was originally supposed to be a four-week process…  But I didn’t want him to think it wasn’t possible.  I mean, if he wants to work extra hard to get it done quicker, there’s a valuable lesson in that.  Last night, I told him we’d sit down with the chore chart and the calendar in the morning and figure it out.

Today, we looked at the chart and figured out what chores he could accomplish today.  And I got him started right away – this was key.  I showed him how to wipe the kitchen counter down, and he did the other half on his own – check!  While standing there in the kitchen, looking at a pile of dishes that needed to be put away, I thought maybe he’d be motivated to earn some extra for things not on his chart…  “Hey, do you want to earn some extra money?  You could help me put the dishes away…”

“Yeah!  I’ll do that!”


Which lead to changing the load from the washer to the drier, which lead to folding some clothes…

I assigned him the towels, and showed him how to do it.  On his first try, it was a messy lump.  I had him re-do it, and told him to pay careful attention to lining the corners up just right.  And he did it.  And I realized I should have shown this to him ages ago.

finished product

Now he is in his room, attempting to clear the floor (i.e. putting all the clothes on his floor into the hamper).  All by himself.

This works for me!



Our Latest (Recurring) Challenge

The MaelstromThe Boy and I are having issues again with things.  There are things that he thinks he needs to either bring or wear to school or other places, yet he can’t keep track of his things in his maelstrom of a bedroom.  Compound that with the fact that he is unable to search for things, and we have this recurring challenge – he will often stand in his room and look for things, but without picking up any of the million things that are lying on his floor or his bed.  “I can’t FIND it!” he will yell, as if his room is a hidden object game where everything is visible if you just look hard enough…

Getting The Boy to clean his room is like pulling teeth.  Getting him to keep it organized is nigh impossible (pulls out thirteen shirts by not being careful about only pulling out the one he needs).  And then he can’t find what he needs, and the cycle continues.

Adding routines is the answer, although this is easier said than done.  “I have to do MORE chores!!” he will exclaim when I ask him to put his clothes in the hamper, as if he can’t dirty his royal hands with them.  Adding incentives to routines — yep!  Come up with yet another chart and stickers, or something.

Tonight we sort out his room again, to look for the blue striped tie he is missing.  Round and round we go, again…

What’s Working

I talk about a lot of stuff that I’m going to do, but I don’t always get back to you and let you know what’s working, so…

  • The cold oatmeal in a jar?  That’s been working!  Like clockwork.  Except just in the last week or so, I’ve been getting a little sick of it, so I’m going to switch up some flavors.
  • The 6-Shelf Sweater Sorter!  The Boy actually filled it himself this past weekend and was proud of himself for doing so.  And the best part is that he is wearing every pair of his pants now, not the same pair every day.  Success!  It also keeps me on track with making sure the laundry gets done so it can be filled.
  • It’s early days yet, but the Magnetic Menu Planner is working SO well!  It helps with making the grocery list, and reminding me what’s planned (and what needs to be defrosted, etc.).  I have been cooking like a fiend, and loving it.  I’m even freezing leftovers and reducing waste.

Another success I’ve had recently is with chores.  I have written about allowance, and not basing it on chores before, but saw this post about how to make a visual chart for kids, and allowing them to have input.  I implemented only the chart of what gets done each day, and The Boy is actually doing chores (like wiping the kitchen counter, and picking up his things)!  The best part?  We haven’t even talked about allowance – he’s doing it because I need him to help out (and I need to teach him basic living skills).  You can’t get any better than that.

Build upon success

Take a minute and think about what’s working for you lately.  Let us know how it’s going in the comments below.