Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Kids and chores, the struggle is too real.

Have your kids help out around the house.  Teach them responsibility.  Set them up to be big winners in the game of life by having them load the dishwasher
every night.
The kids are pretending that the vacuums are proton packs and that they are Ghost Busters.  This was my husband's idea. He's a genius.

There’s only one problem with that.  Getting your kids to do chores IS a chore.  I can spend 15 minutes cleaning the kitchen after dinner OR I can split it down into tiny taskletts and parcel them out to the children and then observe and correct them (No dearest!  Sweeping doesn’t just mean dragging the broom in a circle around the floor, you have to actually look at it to make sure the bits are getting swept up.) but not ACTUALLY do it for them, keep them on task, and then of course deal with the inevitable melt down where one child loudly denounces the other children for not doing their fair share, one child curls up into a ball and moans that they are TOOO TIRED, and the other children screams at you that you have RUINED THEIR WHOLE DAY AND DOES THIS MEAN THEY WON’T GET ANY TABLET TIME?!?!? An hour later, we’re all late for bedtime and the kitchen is not clean.  But they’ve been taught about responsibility!  And then as I always do I imagine them acting in exactly this way when they are grown up.  My kid.  Lying on the floor after the manager at their first minimum wage job asks them to sweep the floor.  “BUT MY LEGS ARE SO TIRED! I can’t hold the broom, or stand.  I’m too tired to BREATHE.”

And goddess forbid that they want to help you cook dinner.  I hope you have three hours to cook.

Fold a shirt, or sit next to someone and describe in precise details 10 times in a row how to fold a shirt….or have your folding corrected by a 5 year old who thinks that your way of folding is DUMB and will greet her father at the door loudly proclaiming “GUESS WHAT PAPA!! I TAUGHT MOM HOW TO FOLD UNDERWEAR TODAY BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T KNOW HOW AND I DID, ISN’T THAT FUNNY!!!”  Hillllllarious.

Here’s the thing though.  Between the nature programs they devour on television and the environmental curriculum that they get at school, these kids will run out into oncoming traffic to pick up a piece of litter.  Baby bird fell out of a tree? ARMAGEDDON.  But pick up the thousand shreds of paper that fell to the floor during the afternoon art project?  I’M SO TIRED I CAN’T LIFT PAPER.

I’ve decided that the way to inspire them to help out around the house is to use the words from their school lectures.  Clean the living room?  Hell no. We are working on our “ENVIRONMENT.” Make your bed?  Oh no.  We are tidying up our nests. 

It’s totally not working.

Then I thought maybe some music would help them keep on task. Let’s be honest, the only time my house has ever gotten anything close to clean is if I have been having a jolly old rock out.  If I had a cleaning service it would be called “Punk Rock Get’s it DONE,” but also don’t hire me to clean your house I’m a horrible housekeeper. 

Have you ever seen 3 under 10’s mosh out to “Let it GO?” Well come by my house during after dinner clean up and you shall, oh yes, you shall.