Thursday, June 22, 2006

An Improvement To Our Day

The inspiration:
I was listening to a teaching called Far More Than Rubies by Leslie Johnson. It is great. In it she talks about a frustration with her then 11 year old son. She would give him a verbal to-do list and expect him to get it done. He would do one thing and then diddle around. Her daughter had no problem finishing the things required so she didn't understand why her son was. She was getting more and more frustrated; thinking he was in rebellion. One morning after such list was given she came into his room to find him crying on his bed. She didn't understand. In her prayer time God showed her the son's heart. It turns out he would do anything for his mother. He just was unable to process the information in the same way his sister and mother did. God showed her to give him a list and he would respond. Sure enough, he did.

Our story:
There are many times I think DS is procrastinating or plain rebelling when I give him a task. I know he loves me and that he does desire to obey. I need to revise my plan. I need to do things in a way he understands.

The plan:
Yesterday I made these lists for both of the kids. The top says each childs name and then Morning Chores. Then there is a simple picture; I know I can not draw. And the act requested. It is a basic morning routine. Both kids have the same list with the exception of the animal. DS feeds the dog, DD feeds the cat. The list needs to be completed before any TV or computer time.

The result:
Today was a beautiful, peaceful morning. They both clearly knew what was expected of them and they got it done without a word from me. The last one on the list is "Ask Mom" This means when the previous 4 things are done they come to me and ask "Mom, is there anything else I need to do?" This gives me the freedom to tailor a request. I am going to try and keep this to one task. Today was wash your face. Tomorrow it may be pick up____. I love is totally working. Added bonus; it is keeping me accountable as well.


Mindy said...

What a great idea!

Wendy said...

Thanks! I might try something like this too. I have noticed if something is in writing on the frig. they do better following it, like a daily schedule or reward system for reading (after 10 readings my son gets to pick something small at the store, or we go to the dollar store). Isn't it wonderful when you find little ways to make things run smoother!

Gina said...

I have the same issues with my 11 year old. He doesn't mean to get distracted, I just give him too big of a verbal list and then other things catch his eye.

Homeschooling him is a challenge. But I devised a card system. I put every thing on cards and when he completes them, like brushing teeth, making bed, etc. he flips the card. It has really cut down on my nagging. Now all I have to ask is have you completed your chore chart instead of going through the list of morning chores. It works great with the younger kids as well.

We've been a little lax for the summer, but I need to start requiring this again.

Kellie said...

Good ideas. I will have to try when the kids are older.

Seeker4Christ said...

Great idea! I made a chart similar for my kids, but my problem is following through after the "glory" has worn off. Like 2 weeks later or so. Also, I'm not great at telling them what they get in return for completeing said chores. Any ideas on that? Or is that list just something you expect them to do as a member of your family?

Diane said...

I wish I had done this with Jessica when she was small. I nagged her till I was ashamed of myself sometimes. Now I need to nag myself! :-)

Overwhelmed! said...

Great idea! I love the pictures. :)

momteacherfriend said...

Seeker- It is a part of the family requirement. The reward is the TV or computer time. Neither are allowed until the chart is complete. I think making the chart in their presence helped them take ownership of it.

Gina- Boys are wired so differently than us ladies. It is hard to remember that sometimes. I like your flip card idea. may have to implement that the older he gets.

Diane- I hear ya. Trying not to play Holy Spirit i nthe home and really trying to quit the nagging. No fun for anyone. what does the bible say...something about better to live on the roof than in the home of a (nagging woman)

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Christy said...

WOW not that is just awesome. I'm going to make notes of things like this for the future! :)

Dad said...

This has definite potential. Keep us posted. I really like the idea. Should we have tried this with YOU?