Saturday, April 13, 2013


We like natural consequences here. Also, we don't make the kids do chores. Both are key points in the coming story.

Last week Josh (8y) broke a window screen. Not maliciously, but it broke nonetheless. Unrelated to the screen breaking incident, I had been feeling that Josh wasn't appreciating how much work I put into running our home and making sure everyone's needs were met. So when we talked ab...out what to do about the screen, we agreed that he would need to pay for a new one. In order to earn money to pay for it, he will be doing all the household chores this week for me.

The important distinction here is that he isn't being forced to do any chores under threat of punishment, and the doing of the chores itself is not a punishment. Rather, we talked about what had happened, how it could be remedied, and which option for remedy satisfied the both of us. His input held just as much weight as mine, and Josh was actually the one who suggested this solution.

We've got a rough schedule for chores- Monday wash sheets, towels, and laundry. Tuesday clean bathrooms and windows, file paperwork. Wednesday dust and vacuum the bedrooms. Thursday dust, sweep, and mop the living room and kitchen. Friday mow the lawn and turn the compost. Dishes and general tidying each day.

I've delayed sharing how we came to the agreement on Thursday because I wanted to see how he handled his first day of work today. He reminded me last night before bed that "tomorrow starts my week of work". I've been told multiple times to "stop doing that Mom, I'll get it. I'm doing all the work this week, remember?" All the sheets have been stripped, washed, and replaced. All the laundry sorted, washed, folded and put away. Not a single complaint. Not even one. It's really beautiful. This is the way to do it, no threats, coercion, or punishments. This is working for us.

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