I know, sounds crazy right? I’m sure you clicked this blog because of the INSANE title you just read, but hear me out.
As most of you know if you have been following my blog, I have three kids. My kids are 8, 5 and 18 months. Most days I don’t know how I’m going to survive until bedtime. Some days my kids are so wild, so untamed, they act like animals that have been locked in a cage and were just freed for the first time in 3 weeks. Totally kidding. Sort of!
Lately, my husband and I have been trying to come up with different solutions to handling their not so respectful behaviors. You know, their outbursts, target temper tantrums and their baffling thoughts that it’s a good idea to take my kitchen mop and dip it in a mud puddle outside to mop the patio.
Yes, that’s a true story. Curtesy of my 8 year old.
We’ve tried it all. We’ve went from EXTREME PUNISHMENTS to just laying down and waving the white flag in their little confident faces.
I don’t know about y’all, but my kids have lost their whole rooms before. One time when my son was four, I found out he had been doing something that I won’t even mention on here, in case in 20 years he stumbles upon this blog and reads what he did. I wouldn’t want to bruise his ego and embarrass him in front of his future wife. Anyways, I found out something he was doing that was so incredibly bad that I decided the only thing to do was take everything out of his room and have him earn it back piece by piece. Extreme right? Maybe, but he never did that again.
Over the past few months our kids have reached a whole new level of brattiness. Is that a word? Yup. It is. So we decided to try a chore chart. The simplest thing. Write their chores on a graft (handmade by me of course) and have them put check marks next to the chores they’ve done for that day.
My house is clean, they haven’t been fighting with each other and I haven’t heard to raise my voice AT ALL. Now that’s a big deal!! Who would of thought that following a schedule like little soldiers would make them behave? Not me! But it’s working!
Tonight before bed after my oldest read a book to the two youngest, you know what he told me? He said, “Mom, I like doing my chore chart.” I said, Oh yeah, why is that? He says, “Because it keeps me busy, I know what I’m suppose to do and I don’t have time to do things that get me in trouble.”
My mouth dropped. My 8 year old understood that what he has been doing gets him in trouble. He understands that when he has too much freedom, he does things that he knows he shouldn’t. That’s a pretty intelligent thing to realize for such a little mind if you ask me!
Then my daughter chimed in, because she has to be apart of every conversation we have in this house. She says, “Mama, I like doing chores too because I like going to bed with a clean room. I don’t clean my room a lot, but now that I have to, I like it better.” I told her how glad I was that she likes going to bed at night in a clean room. She said that she also likes feeding Alena (our dog) because it makes her feel important. I explained to her that she is important because Alena depends on her to do that chore, because if she doesn’t then Alena doesn’t get to eat. She said she promises she won’t forget to do that one.
Now, it’s only been a few days since we started our chore chart, but so far so good. My voice box has had a few days to recover, my kids have been getting along and my house is clean. Life is looking pretty great right now. My statement of “Chores are the key to well behaved kids,” is totally true right now. Key words are, right now..