This week I re-implemented a ritual in our household that has, to my complete surprise, made me feel SO SUPPORTED…..
Now I’ll tell you what that ritual is as long as you don’t laugh. Truly………….. don’t laugh!
We decided to re-implement “A Daily Checklist” for the boys.
Yep that’s right, as hysterical as it sounds, a simple list of jobs for the boys has turned my life around.
A list of jobs that the boys need to complete before school and before bed. Don’t get me wrong we’ve used this checklist before but I’d forgotten how good it is !!!
Even with out this checklist in place the boys have always had to help up around the house by unloading the dishwasher, unpacking their school bags etc but with the checklist there’s added incentive. You see if the boys complete the checklist each day then at the end of the week they get paid. Sounds simple, but I decided to ‘UP THE ANTI’……If they complete the checklist without me having to remind them about anything on the list THEY DOUBLE THEIR MONEY!!!
OH the bliss and joy of not having to say 6 times………..
“Have you packed your bag?”,
“Have you made your bed?”,
“Have you put your clothes in the laundry?”.
NO MORE NAGGING, NO MORE NAGGING, NO MORE NAGGING!!!
1. If they forget to do an item – they don’t earn that day. Simple.
2. If they need reminding at all, they can’t double their money that week. Simple.
It is sooooo worth it. To be spared feeling like a scratched CD playing the same God awful words over and over is hysterically soul enriching And Having So Many Of The Little Jobs Done – Is Nothing Short Of Wonderful!
If you are the house manager in your abode, let me tell you as silly as it sounds (and I AM NOT JOKING ), in one week I feel like I can look around my house and breathe deeper. I am no longer the ‘sole ranger’ cleaning up one mess after the next (and I’m blessed to have a cleaner who does all the really yucky jobs), this checklist saves me from some of the daily grind.
Another bonus is there’s no complaining because the boys know the drill, they scan the list multiple times ensuring they haven’t forgotten anything and they know what’s expected. It was probably last year when we initiated the list (on a girlfriends advice) and at the time, even though the goal for the boys was to double their money, over a 4 month period I could count the times that it actually happened on one hand. Twelve months later though, they are more savvy about money and dead keen to have their parents cough up the big bucks. I will hand over that money happily.
They earn their age in money per week.
So Wilem is 10 years old and he earns 10 dollars. Twenty dollars if he doubles his money. This may sound like a lot, but from that amount they have to divide this money into three.
– 1 third gets saved
– 1 third is a donation to a charity (one we all agree to, eg. Animal Welfare etc.)
– 1 third they can spend
We go to America again at the end of the year and the theme parks have many, many appealing toys (ones we wouldn’t buy last time). The boys also want their own IPod’s (or the latest ‘all in one gizmo’) for music and games etc. So they are men with a very clear mission.
A Morning checklist may entail the following items:
- up and about on time with a chipper attitude ( we don’t have this one as they are all such early risers!!)
- make bed and put pyjamas away,
- room neat and tidy,
- get dressed,
- breakfast eaten easily and breakfast dishes away
- unpack dishwasher/or clean breakfast dishes
- teeth cleaned, face washed, hair brushed,
- water bottle filled
- school bag packed
Obviously our 5 year old has a less demanding checklist than the big boys, and well, Arlo is only two years old so I might get into trouble forcing him to do too much child labour ( I am joking….) but I would encourage you all to consider a similiar ritual that suits your family.
At this point, as long as the boys help out on the weekend they don’t have to complete the checklist items on Saturdays/Sundays. Rest is a good thing. We do remind them however, if they complain or get tooooooo SLOVENLY we’ll make it a 7 day ritual. Come on – I’m raising four boys, I have to keep the benchmark high or when they become teenagers my house will turn into “SLOVEN-VILLE” !!! I’ll have four smelly sloths who will not only need constant feeding but will need constant organising….. no way!!!
So take the time to draft a checklist…..you cannot underestimate the delight encountered in not continuously hearing your own nagging voice, nor the feeling of support such simple rituals create …………..until you instigate one.
I promise I’m not turning into Martha Stewart!!