Friday, March 23, 2012

Love and Logic Week #7

My last Love and Logic class was this week (insert sad face here). I'm so bummed the class is over but I know it's time for me to get out there and put everything I've learned into action. Since it was our last class, we all went around and talked about how implementing Love and Logic in our homes has gone thus far.  This is one of the things I am going to miss most about class being over. The constant support of other parents in similar situations. Once our sharing session was over, we focused on chores.

Frankly, I had never even considered chores for Aidan. Weird. I know. I guess I just like things done a certain way in my house and I've always believed that Aidan was too young to be able to clean anything the way I want it cleaned. Once again, after our discussion last night, I changed my mind. It is not so much about having Aidan clean something, it's about making him feel like he is part of the family by having him contribute to our household. Chores:
  • give the child a sense of importance in the family. One of my classmates suggested calling chores "contributions" which I thought was an awesome idea
  • give the child a sense of accomplishment through struggle
  • can condition children to believe that their parents are the loving authority figures in the home
  • can be used effectively as consequences or to pay back parents for time invested working through the child's problem
Giving your child chores or contributions instills in them a sense of value and responsibility. Here are some tips on enforcing the completion of chores: 
  • Do not pay kids to do their chores. They are a member of the household, therefore it is their job to help keep it. However, it is OK to pay a child to do your chores
  • Never demand, "Do it Now!"
  • Provide a reasonable the end of the day, before bed, etc
  • Plan what you will do if the chores are not done... will the child pay someone else to do the chores? How will the work get done?
  • If the child is paying someone else to do the job, where is the money coming from?
  • NEVER remind a child to do his/her chores. Reminding teaches children not to think and remember for themselves. It is best that the consequences do the teaching and the reminding
Here is my take on all of this. First, I always thought once Aidan got old enough to do chores, we would pay him. How else do you get him to do the work? Oops. Guess I was wrong about that. The thought that  the child is part of the family and should pitch in to help keep the household, couldn't be more true. Great idea in my book. Why hadn't I thought of it sooner? Second, the few times I have asked Aidan to do something, I have always demanded "do it now." Otherwise, the work wouldn't get done. However, I never presented him with a deadline or choices as far as what could happen if he didn't come through and successfully complete his chores.

I have decided that I am going to start giving Aidan a few small things to do...the few things I have come up with are having him put his clothes away and make his bed. I think giving him these small tasks now will not only give him some responsibility but will prep him for when he gets older and more is expected of him. Like any of the Love and Logic parenting techniques, I know that this isn't going to be easy (but what is?!) and I know there are going to be struggles but I think it's worth a shot. Wish me luck!

How do you get your kids to do chores? What kind of chores do you give them to do? 

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