I admit (OPENLY) that I do not have a clue how to raise a daughter. Growing up a daughter, with a sister, you would think I would have picked up a few things from my mom, but I guess I did not pay attention. Raising boys.....now THAT is something I can do. I read an amazing article the other day. I even shared it with Charlotte.....if you click here, you can read it too. I was majorly convicted during the first part of the article, but the last parts, actually made me think I might just be able to do this after all!
I thought back to when I was 12 and 13.....I had household duties which included, cleaning up the kitchen, vacuuming and dusting, keeping my room clean, and even doing the families laundry (wonder if that is why I detest laundry?). Charlotte has been given some duties over the last year. She has been in charge of her room for quite a while....she has to do her own laundry....she is asked to put Zach's laundry away....she is to wipe down the kid's bathroom daily and give it a good cleaning once a week, she empties the dishwasher, and she is to clean up the kitchen after dinner 4-5 nights a week. Does that sound like a lot? It really isn't. Her laundry is done once a week, as is Zach's. The kitchen is not a total mess....I clean as I cook (for the most part) so it is a matter of loading the dishwasher and wiping the counters and stove top. The kids bathroom takes about 4 minutes to wipe down and about 20 minutes to deep clean. All these jobs contained training. I worked with her and set standards of work. She met them in every task....until recently. Recently she half way makes her bed....there are dirty clothes on her floor AFTER she says her room is clean....the kids bathroom stinks......Zach's clothes have been a wrinkled mess, as are hers.......the counters and stove top never get wiped down after dinner and the sink is disgusting (you all know how I feel about a clean sink!) and I can not count how many times lately I have pulled a dirty spoon, fork, or knife out of the drawer. So.....what do I do? Do I criticize her? Do I make her go back and re-do the job? Do I follow her around making sure she does it all correctly? I really do not have the time, nor energy for any of that. Here is what I did....I pulled all of her jobs, except one....her bedroom. I explained to her there is a "ladder" to chores. You are trained in an area and when that area is mastered you move on. She seemed relieved that she no longer had chores. bwahahahah!!!!! Little did she know the ramifications to that!
As the days went by, my kitchen sparkled again.........laundry is folded nicely an put away.....the kids bathroom smells like a flower garden....and I can get a spoon out without picking a dried noodle off of it!
I did my (her) chores happily, singing and smiling through it all. It was not long before Charlotte began asking, "Mom, can I empty the dishwasher for you?", "Mom, do you want me to clean the kitchen? You can just relax tonight.", "Mom, I can load these dishes up for you." I would smile and say "No, thank you Charlotte. I noticed you are still learning how to clean your room. Just focus on that one job." She would reply, "My room is clean." I could easily come back with, "Sorry, Charlotte, but I saw pieces of paper all over your floor, and your laundry was "near" the hamper, but not "in" the hamper, and your bed looks like your still in it. You need to practice that job before you can move back up the ladder." Her face would drop and I would continue on with my own chores. Speaking of chores....I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!! It cleans great and smells wonderful! I feel like the Biggest Loser show....throwing a commercial into the middle of the post without you knowing! OK, back to Charlotte. The kicker came when she asked to make dinner....something she LOVES to do. "Sorry, honey, but that is way up the ladder.....you were there once and with some effort, you can make it again." All of a sudden her room was clean daily.....she has been allowed to move up a rung to unloading the dishwasher again. I explained that a dirty item would result in her stepping back a rung. So far, so good. Training daughters....it is no fun and I am not good at it!
Boys....let's talk boys for a minute. Zach is a master builder of Legos.He is also working hard to keep his room clean and his bed made. Since we moved all his toys downstairs, it has made it easier for him. We have also been working on "staying in bed at night" and let me say, he has done great! This kid was climbing out of his crib at 18 months and has been getting out of bed at night ever since. We put his bedtime back to 8 pm and told him when he could stay in bed 7 days in a row, he could have his "age appropriate" bedtime back. It worked....easy. Boys are a breeze!
Training kitten's is not hard either...."Go lay down, Sassy."Sassy is doing well....she always uses her litter box. She has not gotten on the counters, and she is willing to play whenever you want. She has a sinus infection and got a shot of antibiotics yesterday. She is eating well and is very playful, but her nose is stuffy and she sneezes alot. Dr. Frost thinks the shot will do the trick!I have spent most afternoons watching the Olympics and quilting.I am ready to turn the corner to the 3rd side of the quilt....my original goal was to be done with the body and starting the borders by Feb. 1st. Well that did not work out. Still, I will continue to work hard and cross this quilt off my list soon!
Of course, my chores will get done first!!! Gotta be that example! If you have a daughter, then you must read Mrs. Fuentes' article....again, you can find it by clicking here.Have a blessed day!!