The Dirty Word – Chores.

I grew up labouring away at my bit when it came to household chores. Having three sisters though made the work load that much lighter. I was never paid so to speak for doing chores, however , if ever we needed or wanted something within reason – we didn’t go without. Movies, ice-skating, drive-in, tuck money and so it goes.

My wonderful young teenager recently dug his heels in when it came to a short list of chores I felt were standard for any teenager all of 14 years old. I contacted a few friends and family who too have a child of the same age to compare what is considered a reasonable list, as well as the reward be it financial or other.

I came up with ten chores a week. TEN. I really didn’t feel that was child labour although my son differs. My list was something along these lines.

  • Clean your own room. Inspection is once a week.
  • Unpack the dishwasher after dinner.
  • Mow the lawn once a week – all of a 15 min job. 
  • Take out the trash when need be.
  • Feed the dogs daily and ensure fresh water mornings.
  • Pick up your own dog poop.
  • During school holidays, to help hang the laundry.
  • Make your own bed weekends.
  • Help dad bath the dogs on sundays.

 

Oh wait – that is all of 9 chores. One would think this to be child labour for that is what my child seems to think. Banging heads about this list has left me with migraines. I believe all children should be raised having to do chores. Heck I did. Chores teach children far more than responsibility and the value of a dime.

Then we had the debated issue of what was considered a satisfactory financial reward. Boy, the kid should join the debate team as he sure threw some at me. Yet again I turn to family and friends and what would you know – we seem to pay our teen a little above the considered ‘average’. My sister suggested I start a monthly spreadsheet for him. On which I write down every cent spent on his luxuries –

  • A new clutch cable for his off road motorbike,
  • weekly petrol to run both his bikes – this is recreational,
  • bike parts when he crashes, lately that’s often
  • constant new clothes and shoes as he seems to think they are best used while working on his bikes.
  • The maintenance of his tarantulas,
  • mobile contract
  • Blah blah etc –  

This list can go on and on but it hit me – My sister hit the nail on the head with her advice. Sometimes when kids see things on paper, the reality hits them a little more and they can digest it properly. I’m not talking a childs living luxuries or expenses. I’m referring to his hobbies. 

There you have it. I sat down with my son and asked him what he felt was acceptable and reasonable to be on his chores list. We negotiated the list so not all was selective. What teen is readily going to volunteer a pick up his dog poop before mowing the lawn? Having his participation gave him a sense of having a voice and choices. He is now responsible for his chores list. As for his rewards, they come in many forms and he is slowly realising this. Thank goodness as being the eldest, he sets the example for his two much younger brothers. 

Keep Calm and Parent on.

So what would you feel is an acceptable list or pocket money amount for a 14 year old teen?

 

 

Our Baby, The Great Explorer.

Time sure flys ever so fast in the first year of a baby’s developments and reaching milestones. I’m still so much in awe at this little blessing roaming our home, leaving little footprints behind as I mop the kitchen floor everyday. My baby is less than a month away from that awesome #1. He is such a joy, always smiling and laughs ever so easily. As my hubby says while holding him, ‘God sure knew what he was doing when he blessed us with you’

We spoke of the possibility of hubby going over the pond alone for the first three months. Mainly as I would like the time with my sister in Knysna, our bond is a unique, special and strong one. Hubby was quick to tell me ‘NO WAY, I can’t be away from this little guy and big boys’ As a typical woman I replied with a fake pout, ‘Oh, and me ;)’ – ‘Of course you too’ he said with a comforting loving smile.

Personally, I love my hubby but I sure could do with some time in an all girl house, being all girly, doing all the things my sister and I use to do together when we lived in the same province. Home pamper parties, enjoying the whine with the wine, the laughter with the history, the musicals and cheesy dance moves with so much more.

Sigh, I have a silly, wonderland smile on my face thinking of those precious times.

Back to my littlest of sons – this age is the great explorer age. Everything goes into the mouth these days too and by everything – I seriously mean EVERYTHING. Our house has been childproofed except the pots and pans draw and the Tupperware cupboard, for these are the best ‘toys‘ any inquisitive little mind requires to satisfy more than any noisy, bright and colourful toy in the toy box has to offer. Oh and a cardboard box – the best thing since sliced bread for a boy toy. Below is the link for his recent munching down on the tyre of our car while out visiting friends. Nothing poisonous or detrimental to the health of an exploring baby. Keep in mind – he will do it once, know it’s yukky with the lesson learnt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_dGQwEcbDU&feature=plcp

Have a fantastic weekend 🙂

Where’s The Remote !

How is it that all of six years old, my little one has learnt rather quickly that ‘he who has the remote, controls the telly.’
It has become the battle of the remote in our house. My little one sets his channel of cartoons and then hides the remote. At first I never quiet caught on to what his game plan was. Every time I asked where the remote was – ‘I don’t know mom’ Searching the couches, cushions, under coffee tables etc I discovered his hiding place. Standing up on the inside of the coffee table leg.

Clever kid I tell you. When I finally realised he was in fact stashing the remote, I asked him BUT WHY?. My little man proceeds to explain, ‘ Mom, every-time dad or Austin walk in the lounge, they change my movie and it makes me sad’

My heart had a little melt at his sensitivity. I must admit, I did have a little laugh. There really is a battle for the remote and how could there not be with three males in the house. You’re probably wondering why not just put a telly in the bedrooms. We did do that previously. I didn’t like how it separated the family and slowly I watched my children withdraw into ‘that’ world. The Y generation as they call it. So, nope – no tellys in the bedrooms. Not even for the Playstation or Wii. Guess I’m a little old school then, no harm in that.