Saturday, January 31, 2009

Slave Labor

We may quite possibly have come up with the best ever way to get the girls to do their jobs each day. (Okay, I'll come out and say right now that by "we" I mean "Chris", but since we're married and what's mine is his and vice versa, I feel justified in sharing the credit.) We divided the house into three areas, made laminated charts detailing the expectations for daily jobs and Saturday jobs in each area, attached pretty clipboards and dry-erase markers, and hung them up all fancy-like on hooks in the playroom.

The daily jobs have gone well all week, but Saturday is always the test because the jobs are bigger. This morning, though, everyone was raring to go, so we put the girls to work first thing.

(we have swim lessons on Saturday mornings, hence the swimsuits - we get ready for swimming before breakfast around here)

Things did go more quickly than usual because the girls knew exactly what was expected of them rather than our usual routine, which is for them to claim numerous times that they're finished, only to have us call them back over and over again for various things they've "forgotten" to do. With a checklist, there's no "forgetting".

So while the girls worked hard and gleefully checked things off, Mom and Dad had some relaxing, cleaning-free time.

The house looks fabulous and I didn't lift a finger! Check with me in a month to see whether this lasts, or whether it's just a temporary reaction to the newness of the idea, but right now Chris and I feel like we should write a book on how to get your kids to clean the house for you!


  1. Good idea! I'm glad you explained the swimsuits because I was wondering. Anyway, I will have to try that out. I think I need to start giving Liza jobs.

  2. That is a good idea. I was wondering about the swimsuits too. I was thinking, "do they always clean in their bathing suits?" :)

  3. Love it! As I recall, we had something similar going on in my house growing up, but we never had cool clipboards and markers and our names on the wall. I'm anxious to see how this works long-term. Then I can add it to my parenting "book of things to do that other people have tried first." :)

  4. My first thought about the swimsuits was they should start a cleaning service and I'm sure they would get a lot of business ! Sounds like a great idea..keep us posted.

  5. Emily, you're not suggesting that my daughters hire out to clean other people's houses in their swimming suits, are you???!!! You know what Chris would think about that idea!

  6. I didn't read the other comments so I hope I'm not repeating what someone else already said. I love this idea - especially how they can see what the jobs are without being told what they are. Awesome idea and I'm glad you could take a break and relax!

  7. Great idea! I've still got to learn to let my kids do it their way, not the way I'd like it done.


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