My kids asked me the other day what things I’d do differently in raising our half dozen. I named a few, but the one thing my kids wanted to hear from me was about “the list” that I made weekly for the work that was to be done on Saturday. (I’ll share about the other things on the list of what I’d do differently later).
Looking back, I know how it went wrong. I expected too little of my kids, and my “list” showed it. It’s true!
When they came through and completed the list sooner than I expected, there was still time to do more things I hadn’t put on the list. Naturally, I saw no reason not to add to the list – which I did – regularly, I might add. My kids will never, ever let me live this one down.
What I should have done with that job list was ask Dave about it. What I did instead was contemplate what their response would be and then make the list accordingly. I dumbed that list down. Not a smart thing to do, I realize now.
I’d look at the list and immediately believe they would be right if they told me it was “too much” or “not fair.” I should have shown the list to Dave and asked him if he thought it was too much or too hard for his offspring. He would probably have told me to add more things to the list instead of taking some off.
Since I didn’t ask Dave, what happened was that I handed out the job list and the kids divided things up. Then, as the work progressed, I found more things that needed to be done. (When a half gallon of sweet southern tea is spilled on the floor, of course it has to be mopped – but what do you do when mopping isn’t on the list?)
The other thing that happened was that the kids got the work done in shorter time than I anticipated, so I added more things to the list. What I should have done was have enough things on the list that it wouldn’t get done in an hour; then I could have extended grace and allowed them to not complete some items. I would have been more popular, for sure.
So for all the moms out there who struggle with what is too much or not fair for your kids, ask the man of the house. You’ll have a better perspective and you’ll have his support as well. Remember that moms tend to move more with emotions and a male perspective can help you find rationale and focus.
If I had to do it over, that’s what I’d do differently about assigning the list of chores to my kids.
I’m wondering: what would you do differently when it comes to chores for your kids?!
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