Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Getting organized. Well, getting my kids organized.

As a mom I find it's important to teach your kids certain lessons, like how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, how to vacuum, how to manage money, and how to listen to the little voice in your head that says "don't say what you're thinking out loud."

We can't teach our kids everything, of course. Some things they need to work out for themselves. Take my son for instance. No matter how many times I tell him, he probably isn't going to learn not to stand on his chair for laughs at school until he falls off of it one day. Just the facts. 

One of the things I really want to teach my kids is how to take care of daily responsibilities. Chores suck. They suck even worse when I'm the only one doing them. No amount of training or fun music or games will make chores less not-fun. So we just buck up and do them right? Plus, if we all work together for a shorter amount of time, we can all have more time for My Little Pony marathons and cake. 

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I swear I never watch it by myself. Never. 

Another thing I want to teach my kids is how to handle their money. It's not that my kids spend all their money right's that they never spend it at all. And that's great! Except I'm worried that when it comes time to start spending money they won't know how to do it. It's a huge fear. I didn't know how to spend money myself until I was at least 30. 

Finally these kids need to learn some time management. I swear it's like they think they have hours to complete every task, whether it be watering their gardens in Harvest Moon or eating breakfast before the bus arrives. Come on guys! Contrary to popular belief, you don't actually get clones later in life to help you be on two places at once!

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I definitely don't have a particular love for Pinkie Pie either. Not like I identify with her in any way. Nope. Nuh-uh. 

So I think I've found a way to solve all three of these problems in one slightly complicated but nonetheless fell swoop. 

This is our weekly chore chart. TAH-DAAHHHH!!!!

On the left you'll see our daily chores; stuff that has to get done on the regular no matter what, without pay, because I am cheap. I mean poor. I mean frugal!

Middle column is the juicy stuff: paid chores! Each is assigned a dollar amount (typically $1) to be paid at the end of the week. Once a task is finished, whoever did it puts their initials in the last column to claim it. On Friday, everyone gets paid. 

But there's a twist!!

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Okay I'll stop now. 

The twist is, anybody in the house can claim a chore. The kids can of course. But so can I. So can my parents. So can my friends. So can the kids' friends. Anybody who wants a buck can pick a chore. Hopefully this will motivate my kids to do it, since they don't put much importance on money to begin with. Which, in truth, I really like about them. It speaks to a sort of anarchistic innocence, a statement against the greedy and oppressive nature of a near-tyrannical capitalist economy. But that's beside the point. 

Another thing I think might motivate them is the fact that I'm also putting harsh limits on their time with video games and non-school-related computer time. Like, way harsh. They will now have the ability, however, to purchase more time. 30 minutes of extra time playing video games or computer games, or staying up later to read, will now cost them...$1!

Now every time they want more time, they can look at their dollar bill and think about the blood, sweat, and tears that went into earning it (no there hasn't been any blood yet), before they decide whether it's REALLY worth it to play just one more day of Animal Crossing. 

The kids are mighty suspicious of this new set of rules. They're not really used to mom having rules. I'm not a big fan of them myself. But dammit, I will raise RESPECTABLE, contributing anarchist members of society! Er. I mean. Well you know what I mean. 

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Go away Pinkie. Geez. Somepony doesn't like to listen. 

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