June 01, 2010

summer Ideas- daily jobs

ok.  my kids are older this year and i've been thinking a lot about summer jobs...
during the school year, my kids have set chores
gather the trash from around the house-age 6
take out the trash-age 11
empty the dishwasher and set the table for dinner, yes, they set the table for dinner in the morning before school or right after school- age 10 and 8
and put away the silverware- age 3
they also have to practice for 15 minutes piano or violin.
yes, only 15 minutes... i'm a nice mom.
when i have clean laundry, it is also their job to put it away.  
i don't tell them they have to do their jobs.
it's their choice.
but, if they ask to do something, like play on the computer, invite over a friend, or go outside, i say
"Sure, if you have your jobs done."

this summer i didn't want to be the police officer.
the boys especially had this attitude like, PLEASE can you say i'm done doing things so i can do what i want to do.
i could feel that their whole goal was to get mom's junk done so they could PLAY... PLAY... PLAY.
and, that concerned me.
cause there is more to life than playing.
and, i want to have kids that are Self Motivated
so... on the first day of summer, i sat the kids down and we talked about 2 things.
1. the importance of keeping our bodies and homes clean.
2.  the importance of working hard.
-i use many examples of "other kids" who just want to play all day, or only want to eat candy, or never want to do anything hard.
-like this... "I know a kid who cries at school every time the teacher tries to teach him math... he says math is too hard.  So, if his teacher is nice, what would she do?"  The kids answer funny, "Oh, she would still teach him."   I insist, "NO... he has a REALLY NICE TEACHER.  She LOVES that kid... I'm sure she says it's ok.  If math is too hard, he can just have recess all day long."  They all shout "NOOO!  He needs to learn! It's only hard at first, if he keeps trying it will get easier..."
-i also like these stories, "What will you do when you are a mother/father and you have a kid who NEVER brushes his teeth, because it's too hard.  Or who doesn't want to eat vegtables?  Or who thinks he should never have to read stories and just wants to play Wii all day long?"  After they say lots of good things I'll ask, "So, why do you think people don't like to work hard?"  then, "Why is it so good to work hard and learn new things and be healthy?"  This is where they teach the lesson that I was trying to teach.
"Working hard is harder, but better... you need to do hard things so that you can learn and grow and be healthy.  Easy isn't always better.... etc..."
THEN i told them that i was tired of being the police cheif.  That sometimes I feel like their GOAL was to play and i was making them do good things so that they could escape and do what they WANTED to do.
I told them THEY needed to WANT to help out around the house, and use their brain to learn new things.
I told them that if they did things because they wanted to, they would do a better job and they would be more blessed...
THEN, we set goals.
I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish around the house that day.
I read my list and said, "Do you think you can help me?"
Then I told them my specific goals for the day...
We started with oldest and went to youngest.
Jakob-age 11 was a pill.  He "couldn't think of any goals".
So, we skipped him.  I said, "That's ok, we'll give you some time to think and come back to you at the end." 
(Ha!!  He wasn't too happy about having to wait to the end!!)
Drew-age 10 came up with these goals
--trim nails
--set table
--practice piano 30 minutes (see that, it was MORE than what i required)
--change pillowcase
--play with firends outside
--watch one episode of dirty jobs on netflix
--practice learning to type for 15 minutes on the computer
--play for 15 minutes on the computer
--watch the dvd i got from my school class
--make funnell cakes for lunch
--make mac n cheese for dinner
Anna- age 8
--get ready for dance recital
--practice violin songs 10 times each (i usually require 3 times)
--set the table
--organize the picnic
--take a shower
--brush teeth
--eat breakfast
--invite Mr. Bill to dance recital
--clean up Barbies
--read a chapter book
Ellie-age 6
--practice piano 30 minutes
--clip/paint nails
--change sheets/pillowcase
--take a shower
--brush teeth
--clean up books/bed
--clean up desk
--make sandwiches
--clean up sidewalk chalk out back
--color a picture
Leah- age 3
--clean up sidwalk chalk with ellie
--let mom do my hair
--make the drink for picnic
--color a picture
--play on the computer
--take a nap and stay in bed
-- read a book
Jakob- age 11
(still had a stinky attitude)
1. bush my teeth
2. play with friends
3. play outside
4. play at home
5.  go swimming on Saturday
6.  on the computer game "toss the turtle" reach 1 million feet.

(All the kids were watching with wide eyes to see what i would say...  i had no idea what i would say.)
I said, "Nope.  I don't think it is good for you to play all day, or to have your only goal "to play"... and, you have chosen not to think of any goals for yourself.  So, I'll help you think of some worthwhile things to do."
(i was smiling now... what a smart momma i am... smarter than an 11 year old.)
These are the goals I wrote for him...
-- practice piano 30 minutes
--clean the kids bathroom
--make tuna fish (2 cans)
--cook hard boiled eggs (12)
--change pillowcase
--read 2 chapters in Percy Jackson
--play 15 minutes of the typing game on the computer
--put away laundry.
He tried to set his own goals after this, i just kept smiling and telling him that i gave him 2 chances to set his own goals and he choose not to.  He would have another chance to set his goals the next day.
(We have done goals twice since Friday, Saturday and Monday... both days Jakob was ever to happy to come up with his own list of enlightening goals... jakob-0  mom-1... but actually, since i'm right and i was doing what was best... we both won on that one, so we're tied.)

And thus our summer plan has emerged.  For the past 4 days we have been meeting together each morning.  I have a list of what I want to accomplish and then the kids tell me what they want to do for their goals.
They are actually fighting over who can help.
Yesterday before we set goals, I took them all into the bathroom to show them how to clean a toilet-- we timed it, 3 minutes.
After that they fought over who could clean the kids toilet.  I reminded them we will have toilets to clean all summer long... 

I also told them that when they finished a chapter book, the professor or I would take them to get ice cream and they could tell us about their book.  We already owe 4 ice cream dates.
AND... when they went to bed, I took a dry erase marker and wrote fun reminders on all of our mirrors...
i love feeling like the TEACHER not the POLICE CHIEF.
i love being a  mom.

For now, i just write the goals in a notebook and leave it on the counter for them to check...
I saw a great idea, someone used a frame... printed out a paper with their kids name and
Then they just used a washable dry erase marker to write out their daily jobs.
love that idea.
may have to do it sometime...

So, this is my summer of SELF MOTIVATED KIDS.
So far so good.
Hope you're having a fun, motivated summer...
Have any great self-motivation ideas??
Please share!  I love advice!!
(ha! this is a bit of an oxymoron... help me motivate my kids to be self motivated!!)


we chirp said...

I'm going to have to reread this post a couple of times and then fly you up here to implement all this in my home. And of course share any tips on how to get my kids self motivated...

beckyjune said...

Can you come to my house next? I really feel more like the police than the teacher most days.

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