Thursday, July 19, 2007

Child Labor, Good Training, Chores--Whatever You Want to Call It!

It works and it ROCKS! Ha!

I was reading over some old articles by and watched an interview with Candy Zackey, mother of 17 children (articles can be found in back issues of Above Rubies). In all of these, she mentions how she's trained her children to handle every aspect of cooking and cleaning, so she doesn't have to! Now that is wonderful stuff!

Sure, I believe children should have chores, and I'm well known for saying things like, "If you don't put it away, I'll throw it away."

But for the most part, I would still do at least 90% of the housework. Yes, the kids do their laundry, clean their rooms, make their beds, help with daycare children, Sierra occasionally makes lunch for everyone, clean up dog poo from the backyard, sometimes did dishes together, and Ethan would sometimes take out the trash.

But this wasn't a daily occurrence, by any means. (Sigh...bad mommy.)

Instead, I'd do it because it was "easier" and I could get it done "faster".

Well, guess what???

Those days are OVER! Ha ha! ;-)

I've taken Candy's advice and am now working myself out of a job, so to speak.

Honestly, being the ages they are (11.5, 8.5, and 7 years old), there's no reason why they can't be responsible for the bulk of the upkeep of our home. In fact they've been doing a lot more this week (see post below about the crevice tool), and they're enjoying it! (Wow!)

Not only that, but they're doing a really good job. You know, for not cleaning very often, they're surprisingly well-trained. I didn't have to make them re-do anything. The dishes, floors, bathroom, windows and rooms were all cleaned to "Mom Standard", which is saying a lot. ;o)

Of course, this won't always be the case and I'm ok with that. There's sure to be a hint of complaint every now 'n then from one or all three. But as long as my life gets easier, theirs become more productive, and cause their futures to be a bit brighter and easier in the long run, then I'm all for it.

Seriously, can you imagine if my girls never learned how to clean before they were married? Or if my son never learned how to clean either, and his wife comes home from the hospital after having a baby, and walks into a MESS?! YIKES! How horrible!

Best to train them up now, so they're a blessing to their own families later on.

In addition to all of that, the children and I did heavy "weeding" today. Not the garden variety, but the closet, bookshelf, and toy variety. ;o)

Every month or two, we have a charity come to the house to pick up any reusable household items. This has been such a tremendous help to me! For the cost of time and a little bit of effort, I can unload bags and boxes of stuff that we just no longer need or want.

I get several tax deductions and a clutter-free house. Woohoo!

So with the truck coming tomorrow morning, we had a busy day of weeding. We cleaned out an entire shelf of the movie closet, a large bag of clothes, and pulled at least half of their books out.

Now, the books we may take up to Half-Price books to see what the children can get for them. I doubt it will be a whole lot, but they have a HUGE box of books...it might be worth it just do see, you know? Besides, their piggy banks are hungry. ;o)

One last thing...please don't email me and tell me what a mean mommy I am for making my children "throw away" their precious things. They only donate those items that they choose to part with. I don't force anything out, unless it's torn, ripped or otherwise garbage. (Those items get thrown into the trash--not the donation bags.) They're all very good at sorting and "weeding", and enjoy de-cluttering almost as much as I do. ;o)

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