Charts and stars

When my mom sent me to pre-kindergarten, she was shocked at how much the teachers had the four-year-olds do.  It changed her philosophy.  No longer did she pick up our toys.  No longer did she dress us.  No longer did she helps on and off with our coats.  She was a liberated woman.

Since she’s a convert, she’s forever telling me what my boys should be doing.  But I, like so many other moms, find it easier to just do it because it’s faster.  Oh, Tornado E, take off the underwear off your head and give it to me.  Now step in.

Of course, it is high time Tornado E started doing things on his own.  No matter how much longer it takes.  Even if getting dressed is now a whole half an hour affair.  (Thank God, we couldn’t get him into the morning class.)  No, you can’t wear pants today; it’s a 102.  You know very well both legs are in the same whole.

I reorganized his chore chart and decided that it was time to make sure Tornado E did these things on his own instead of reminding me to brush Tornado E’s teeth.  (I know.  I’m a bad mom.)  I also made Tornado S one, so that I would remember to brush his teeth too.  (Yeah, I know.)

Now Tornado E will brush his teeth, wash his face, comb his hair, actually putting on his clothes, and making his bed without any help from me.  Ok, with some minor help.  He’s supposed to do this between breakfast and playing.  Once Mommy has declared it time to get ready for the day, no more playing until it’s done.  No leaving the bedroom until it’s done.  No kung fu fighting on the bed until it is done.  I don’t care if Ti Lung doesn’t wear a shirt you have to.

I started it last week with touch and go success, but they had enough stars for a treat, but I forgot all about it.  So today I showed Tornado E his new chart with the added bed making, since I forgot last week, and I told Tornado E if he completes all his chores and gets all his stars, I would take him out for ice cream.

Not only will my mornings begin to run smoother.  (Stop chuckling; it could happen.)  But now I get to go out for ice cream on Saturday.  Win-win.

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12 Responses to “Charts and stars”

  1. beth aka confusedhomemaker Says:

    Going out for ice cream is always a bonus & I think mornings do run a little smoother when kids are doing more themselves (not perfectly smooth but better than total mom having to do every damn thing all the time mode).

  2. rakster Says:

    Goodness. The operation sounds complicated. People keep telling me the challenges change as they get older. But am I ready for these challenges?

    Love the idea of a chore chart. I think I should do one for myself with icecream rewards.

  3. ck Says:

    I keep meaning to set my kids up with a chore chart. My daughter even asks for chores. But I just haven’t gotten around to making the damn chart. (I know, I’m missing out on a golden opportunity, but I think I need my own chart so that I can add making her chart to it.)

  4. KathyB! Says:

    I’ve missed so many posts. I’m going to start here and read back when I have the time… 🙂

    The charts (for girls anyway) are miracle workers. You’d be surprised how motivated kids are to get those stickers. Go faemom, go faemom!

  5. insider53 Says:

    Yeah! you go Mom! Consistency and perseverance.

  6. insider53 Says:

    Yeah! you go Mom! Consistency and perseverance.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  7. ymK Says:

    I will give the chart a try. I feed, bathe, and put my 4-year old to sleep. Its gotten really tiring.
    But I’m sure even with the chart system she would say, Mama I need your help.

  8. faemom Says:

    beth~ I needed that kind of encouragement since Evan took forty-five minutes to get dressed today.
    rakster~ As they get older, you gain more experience, so you’ll be able to meet those challenges. I think I should reward myself too when I finish my chore chart.
    ck~ I would have linked mine, but I don’t know how yet. So if you want an example or to use mine, email me and I’ll send you one.
    KathyB!~ Yea! This crazy idea just might work!
    insider~ I only pray to persevere.
    ymK~ But eventually she’ll do it on her own, or at least that’s what I hope.

  9. joz1234 Says:

    I’m awful at keeping up chore charts. Instead I just expect him to get dressed and ready for school if he expects to have breakfast. It’s the first thing we do. so far it is working.

    As for the other chores, they both help me quite a bit. I’m actually working on a blog post about what they help me do. Again, I just expect it and they know that unless they do it they won’t get TV or Nintendo DS time. Maybe that is bad to work it with taking away stuff instead of rewarding…but I’m so bad at chore charts…and when I lag with hit, it becomes unimportant to them too.

  10. Gibby Says:

    I remember when Poonch started first grade and I was packing her first lunch. I put one of those apple sauce cups in her lunch but then froze, because I realized I had never taught her how to open it. It was just so much easier for me to do it, nothing would spill, etc. After that I realized how much I needed to make my kids do on their own. Not that they actually do it, but I try!

  11. Zeemaid Says:

    *LOL* I’m a bad mom too. Just try admitting to the dentist that yes they brush their teeth at night but it’s hit and miss in the morning.. Sigh.

    I’ve been contemplating the chore chart. My MIL told me that she never made her kids pick up toys when they were small but then again they probably only had a total of 6 toys.

  12. faemom Says:

    joz~ Hey, if it works, it works.
    Gibby~ My mom still complains about how little my baby brother does around the house.
    Zeemaid~ We’re touch and go on the night teeth brushing. Don’t MILs have all the answers?

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