I’m here to say that after eighteen years of mothering the job thing needs to be tweaked and tweaked over and over again. But I love having a system in place that I can work from.
For years we had long lists of Saturday jobs I would write down according to what needed to be done. I’d draw my little circles for the kids to fill them in as they go (something passed on by my dad when I was young).
I just pull those little puppies out of out and stick them on the counter on Friday night (or the kids pull them out if I forget) and they get to work knowing exactly what they need to do before they hang with friends or watch a movie or lallygag (why is “lallygag” such an awesome word??).
They mark off everything they need to do, check in with me so I can inspect their work, and then we wipe off their marks and they are ready for next week.
***note: These lists don’t include their bedroom and bathroom jobs they do automatically now. Sometimes I think I should write all those down too, but I don’t want the list to seem so daunting and they have been doing those things for so many years I think their bodies go into auto-clean mode on those things by now.
Claire and Lu were the only ones around when I pulled my camera out the other day, so here they are all smiles that they finished (although I already erased claire’s check-offs that day).
At first Lucy’s jobs stayed the same, and her list was a little shorter because I’m trying to make sure she’s trained properly.
I still need to tweak these lists…some still need more details, but man it’s making our Saturdays pretty awesome.
Teaching kids to work is a tough job. But once they start to get things down it feels a little bit like magic to me. Sure, as soon as I feel like I’ve got things down to a science everything falls apart and we have to re-vamp (take our daily job charts for instance that have remained blank for five weeks…).
But right now this system is a little dreamy to me so I figured I’d share.