Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Clean-Up Woman

As much as I hate doing the majority of the household chores, I am terrible at assigning chores and holding the boys accountable.  I've tried charts and incentives, but never stuck with any of it to make it work.  I live in the fairytale where kids just do what they're asked to do, because it's what they're supposed to do.
Well, last week I went onto their "wing" of the house and had my usual anxiety attack.  It happens every time I turn the corner that leads to their hallway:  chest tightens, breathing becomes short and labored, beads of sweat start forming, heart races….you get the point.  No matter how many times I warn and threaten, they refuse to keep their things picked up off the floor of their bedroom and bathroom.   Often, I even close their doors so I don't have to see it.  There's no avoiding the problem when we're rushing out the door and someone can't find their __________.  
What did I do?  I collected everything in a trash bag.  The next time they came looking for something, I announced that I had a collection of things that I found on the floor.  If they wanted or needed anything from my collection, they would pay me $1 per item.  They earn money for their grades on their report card and have saved up quite a bit of birthday and Christmas money as well.  So, I think this really hit home. Who knows, maybe I've finally figured out a way to help them clean up their messes!

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