Got Summer Household Projects? Assign Them to the Kids!

Operation bathroom sink organization  underway!
Operation bathroom sink organization underway!

Summer time is fun time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a few projects around the house finished! Why not let the kids earn some extra money by assigning them age appropriate projects? It is a great way for them to learn some homemaking skills and add some responsibility to their plate. Here are a few projects my daughter will be working on this summer to earn a little cash.

  • Grind the coffee beans and put them in a container
  • Bathroom Sink organization
  • Linen closet organization
  • Putting fruit  into storage containers
  • Cleaning out the drawers
  • Assisting me with pantry organization
  • Assisting me with cleaning the basement (this is a long project)
  • Assisting me with filing and paper organization (this includes organizing her desk)

Some of these are really easy weekly chores, like grinding coffee beans and storing prepared fruit, however some of the skills I’m teaching her are how to cut a pineapple or watermelon (don’t worry she’s not using the knife), how to properly clean fruit and veggies, where to look for an expiration date on medicine bottles (under supervision of course),  and just the overall principals of organization. She’shaving some fun, helping me out and earning between .25 and $5.00 depending on the project. Whenever, they crying how bored they are think of a project that will keep them busy, teach them some household skills, and maybe put a little cash in their pocket!

Sometimes Discipline Means Work, Not for Me for the Kid

So, you all know I adore my girl, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get a little sassy sometimes and when that happens it’s time to discipline. Now you all may not agree with this and that’s okay, but I thought I’d share a little parental discipline that I had to dole out yesterday. So here’s the story…

Yesterday, we were in the car and Anya had one of those bottle that she uses for her baby doll. Inside of it was this concoction she mixed together. I had been telling her not to open it and actually for her to take it out of the car along with a host of other things that piled up. Well, lo and behold the bottle of mystery fell in the car. I wasn’t so mad that it spilled but what I was annoyed about was the attitude I got when I told her to bring the bottle up to the house before we left for dinner. Well, Miss Anya stomped her way up to the porch and she threw the bottle down. OH YES SHE DID! Then when I addressed it in the car and told her she needed to bring the toys and the piles of other things in the house when we got back she had an attitude and said why couldn’t I do it. OH YES SHE DID! A few other words were exchanged and I knew something had to be done. Now she thought we were going to dinner so I was quiet and we were getting closer to the place we were going and she said something like, “Oh I didn’t know we were going there, great!” But instead I rolled right past it, I could see the confusion appear on her face in my rearview mirror.

Instead, we went to the gas station, the one that had a vacuum cleaner that you could pull up next to and that is where the discipline train pulled into. I explained that I didn’t appreciate her attitude and disrespect not only that she showed me, but our car. I reminded her that we were blessed to have a car and cars cost money. Then I dropped the bomb shell. I told her that I wouldn’t be cleaning up her mess she would. There were a few tears, but I didn’t let them distract me or her, I’m okay with working through the tears. She was to clean up all the junk she threw on the floor, put all her toys together that she’d be bringing in the house, wipe down the seats and then vacuum. I have a Hyundai Sonata so the back seat area isn’t that big, but big enough that it was a sizable job.

At first she tried handing me stuff to throw away for her, and I said she was on her own with this one. I told her she is responsible for cleaning up her own messes. I also raised the stakes a little higher and said if it wasn’t done correctly we would not be going to dinner out but instead be eating at home. I hesitated on this one ladies, because I was exhausted and used last night as our one night out to eat. So I said a silent prayer that she would rise to the occasion. There was a bit of pouting, but after she knew I was serious she did a good job. In the end I gave  her a hug and explained why I had her do this, which was to learn the value of things and not take what we have for granted and not to disrespect it either. I also told her that there are consequences to her actions and she is accountable. After a few kisses and her apologizing we were on our way.

We ended up having a great breakfast/dinner at IHOP and I think she got the gist of what I was trying to convey to her. Sometimes discipline is work literally!

Cleaning a car is hard work!

The Consequence Jar.. The Good and The Bad

Okay since I just posted about creating healthy boundaries for kids, I thought I’d share something we do in our house and that is I have two consequence jars. When the little kiddo gets out of hand and after warnings are issued it is time for the consequence jar. Basically I had these little magnet containers a friend gave me and I put Anya’s picture on it, well I finally found a way to put it to good use.

She’s so cute right? Yep, until something goes wrong and oh boy! No just joking, but she can get a bit feisty. So below are the containers.

Why two you ask? Well, I don’t think we should teach our children that all consequences are bad. There are also good consequences when we are obedient. So if Anya does something thoughtful, generous or just shows good character she can choose a good consequence! These range from a walk to the park, a 1/2 hour later bed time , etc.

The bad consequence container has little unhappy faces and she has to choose one after unruly behavior and a warning. However, I wanted to put a slip of paper in there that grants Grace. I think giving grace is a huge part of parenting. After all Jesus gives us undeserved grace shouldn’t we give our kids the same. Interesting enough if she picks Grace I always see a very humble attitude emerge that usually ends with an apology and a hug.

This is a simple, but yet effective way to curb undesirable behavior and also to encourage good behavior. Just a quick mom tip!

“Setting Healthy Boundaries With Your Kids,” On Focus on the Family.. Worth Listening To!

Establishing boundaries in any area of our lives is important. It is especially important as we navigate through parenting. Tonight I listened to ,”Setting Healthy Boundaries With Your Kids,” on Focus on the Family and thought that it was worthy encouraging you all to listen to whenever you get a chance. Henry Cloud and John Townsend talk about setting health boundaries with children so that they can lead balanced lives and you don’t jump off a bridge! Just joking, but he has some really good tips that I think are  useful when talking about consequences, cultivating respect and developing boundaries. Here is the link if you want to take a listen