Thursday, January 19, 2012

Putting my Quirks to Work

Bear with me, folks, there may be something that interests you by the time you get to the end. At the very least, you may be thanking God that you're not like Rose!

For some time now, I've made up chore charts to get the girls to do more towards keeping the house in decent shape. Each time I would post a new chart, it worked for up to two weeks, sometimes less. A lot less. The last time I tried to tie it to allowance payout, but I was always guessing how much they'd actually earned. It was difficult to get the youngest to do her chores because she didn't read and she was immature and unmotivated. But I think I may have hit upon something this time...

This go-round I've made up a system that truly reflects my complicated personality as well as my goals with the girls. I almost always over-complicate things, which most of the time is a weakness, but just may prove helpful this time. I'm banking on the thought that every trait has some raison d'etre.

Here goes, for the amusement of all my readers:
Each child has about 60 boxes to check off for the week--about 40 are daily chores for Monday thru Friday. They have other chores that instead of assigning a particular day to do, I've just put up a box for each time they should do it. (Previously, I had assigned which day who should wash lunch dishes, for example. Well, if the girl missed her slot, then it was done by an adult, and she never came to make up for it. Not helpful to the busy, overstressed Mom.)

Next, I calculated percentages of the boxes and assigned a number of pesos they would be paid for their efforts. After two Sundays of earning very little, the girls are catching on to the idea (abstractly), that I'm rewarding diligence, not paying for the work. The first week I had to endure many tears and much wailing, but I was sure that if I didn't let them fail, my whole system would prove a failure! The next week they meekly accepted their pittance with determination to do better. Score for Mom!

With the understanding that "stuff happens", the max amount of money can be earned with 96% of completion, leaving a grace of 3 boxes. To get anything at all, they have to do at least 60%. Are you still with me? Here's the chart:
Pesos                             Boxes Checked
15                                   63 or more
12                                   59-62
10                                   54-58
7                                     49-53
5                                     46-48
3                                     42-45
2                                     40-41

The idea is that with just a bit more effort, they can earn quite a bit more. When Rebeca got her new chart this Sunday, she went right to work, knocking off a few of the weekly chores! Somebody would like to get the full payout!

On a side note, maybe you wonder what they can possibly purchase with such piddlings? Well, there are many little candies and gums to be had for a peso or even two for a peso. A meter of ribbon is about 3 pesos, a bag of chips (frowned upon purchase) between 3 and 6 pesos, a jello is 5, and toys at the fayuca, an open-air "thrift" market of US imports, can be purchased for 20 or less pesos, with some luck. Of course I'd like to give them more, but at the time of this writing, it just isn't there. And I see potential for character development.

So, I think this post is less about chore charts and more about my UNIQUE way of thinking and how I put it to use. Oh, call me quirky, but don't tell me you do! I love comments, and I'd love to hear about your unique qualities and how they've helped you (or not) or about how you got your kids to help around the house. God bless you and your family, and all the quirky ones, too!

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