Monday, February 26, 2007

Responsibilities - everybody's got 'em

I started commenting on Raising Five about children’s responsibilities and such, but quickly realized that I was being long-winded so cut it short there and decided to expand here.

Although I wish we had had our daughters since birth, there are some advantages to parenting children who are adopted at an older age. One is that our two older girls rarely argue or complain. Sadly, I think it’s because initially they were scared to. And now it’s just a good habit.

The advantage is that when we assign household chores, they are cooperative. They’re not always cheerful about it, but neither are they surly or rude. I’m not always cheerful about doing chores, either (yes, I know I need to improve on this). We just all realize that these are the things that we have to do to keep our household running.

A couple of things that keep the “kid clutter” to a minimum are that they always have to put up one toy (or group of toys) before getting out another, and unless they are all three playing together with one thing (like Barbies) they play in different areas. So we rarely have “who got this out?” I usually know what they’re playing with, because we don’t often have “free-for-alls”. Toy clutter is almost never a problem. This is one area where we stay fairly organized.

With Scooter, right now I have to remind her constantly to pick up her shoes and clothes, because she tends to drop them where she takes them off. Makes sense; she’s 3.

The two older girls have daily chores like unloading the dishwasher, watering the dogs, taking out the trash. I do remind them every day, right after they get home from school, or sometimes if they are ready early in the morning. Pooh usually does her chores right away. Tink sometimes get sidetracked and I just remind her again. The big girls also help with vacuuming and dusting regularly. They don't do a great job, but it's a start. When I go to finish up, the vacuum is already out and I just have to hit the spots they missed. So it's easier for me and they're getting into the habit of doing it.

All three girls help with laundry. They all sort their dirty clothes every Saturday or Sunday and put it into three baskets; jeans, whites, and colors. From there, they help in varying degrees, depending on what else we have going on. Pooh and Tink are able to put clothes in the washer if BD or I start it and put soap in, and also move clothes from the washer to dryer. They are also able to get clothes out of the dryer and fold them, as well as putting their own clothes up. Scooter puts her clothes up with supervision. Now, they do not always do every step of the laundry process, but can and do when asked to. The big girls even fold Mommy and Daddy’s clothes sometimes to get extra TV time.

To clear up any appearance of bragging, I want to say right here and right now that I have a clutter problem in my house. It is primarily my fault, with BD as the secondary perpetrator. It is much easier to tell someone else to pick up their stuff, than to actually do it yourself. So I have much more clutter in my kitchen than in the girls’ rooms. I have much more clutter in my bedroom than in the girls’ rooms. When I tell them to pick their stuff up, they usually do it. It’s not so easy with me.

I am a person who craves organization but has not achieved it. So I have piles of stuff that I don’t know what to do with. I’m making baby steps toward letting go of things I don’t really need. This is a biggie for me. And this is another topic that I’ll write more on later.

But for now I’ll just get to work.

1 comment:

shoeaddict said...

I'm the same way. Cluttered. It's great to give the girlies jobs.