Thursday, February 16, 2006

Chores (or Children Are Really Indentured Servants)

This week's large family topic is chores. It is no doubt not a great surprise that I don't have a system for chores. (See organization and sleep posts, lol.) I would never follow through with a chart, or stickers or rotation. That just isn't me. The only real assigned chores are 7yo feeds and waters the cat and 12 and 10yo alternate cleaning the cat box and emptying the dehumidifier. Those jobs take about 5 min. No exactly overwhelming. The 13, 12 and 10 yo do their own laundry. Other than that I work on the "you didn't get behind the door quick enough system." Whoever I see first when I want something done is who gets the job. These aren't difficult things. They usually include: vaccuming, picking up toys, doing dishes (no dishwasher), clean table, sweep kitchen floor, taking out trash and recycling and sitting with the 4 and 2yo when they are having a bath. On Saturdays one of the older three makes lunch. Not exactly forced labor. The 2yo pretty much gets picking up and wiping the table along with 4yo who is trying to learn to vaccum. Maybe because they never know what I'll ask them to do, they pretty much do what I ask without griping. Things get mixed up pretty well since you never know who will be gone for a practice, a sleepover or be buried in homework. What I really need is someone with a driver's license to help chauffeur kids around. That is the job that drives me batty. My main complaint about chores is that with six kids, there really isn't that much for each one to do once the chores are split up. We live in a rural area, and most kids have 4-H animals, 6 or 7 of them, and have an hour or more of barn chores. My kids don't have that and I wonder if they should.

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