Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Training Daughters

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!!


Deborah said...

It sounds like you handled the chore situation very well!

I know 16 yr. olds that totally refuse to do chores. They'll be in big trouble when they leave home and can't even figure out how to operate the washing machine!

~Joann~ said...

Bren~ Hey want to come over and keep my house clean. I have totally lost control of our home!! This new puppy isn't helping the situation any at all.I am hoping when I grow up I can be a good keeper of our home like you :)

Susan said...

The "chore ladder" sounds like a great idea! I learn all these things after my kids are grown! LOL

How are you liking our beautiful city as you watch the Olympics?! It's been great so far having the whole world here, and Canada won its first gold ever on Canadian soil Sunday night. We're also part of a project to distribute portions of the Bible during the Olympics - an exciting thing too.

Love seeing Sassy. I'll have a cat vicariously through your family! ;)

Crispy said...

I'm so happy I don't have to train anyone....well there is Bob but I've decided he doesn't have the trainable gene LOL. Being a gramma to a girl is easy, just spoil them rotten LOL.


Love Bears All Things said...

I did raise one of each. I had more problems with my son but only when he got to the teen years.
I do remember the mood swings which came with puberty.
I think what you are doing sounds like a good idea and is working.

Now, I like what you did about Zach staying in bed. You didn't say when he was getting back up. Wonder Boy has been getting up during the night and sleeping on the sofa for years. We just can't seem to break him of it. He'll soon be 12. He didn't do it on vacation and doesn't when he stays over here. Only at home.
Mama Bear

Andrea Cherie said...

That was a fantastic article on that other blog you linked! I'm printing it for future reference!

And Sassy baby is downright adorable! I just want to hold that tiny kitty!!

Meggie said...

For every child, something different seems to work. I do agree, girls are different to boys, and I think, more difficult.
Love your little Sassy.

live4god said...

Thanks for the tips Bren! I will be clicking the article when I have another sit down at the computer this afternoon right now I am off to make bread... Thanks for the ideas my little one is only 5 but I think I will work on some responsibility with toys next as she is always only wanting to help me with what I am doing not what her jobs are...they are small but they matter on the Ladder LOL...look that rhymes!

Pam said...

I just found your blog and wanted to say hi. I like this chore ladder idea. Love your quilt, too!! I'm off to read the other article.

Pam in TN

Marydon Ford said...

Oh, gosh! Bren ... this sounds all way TOO familiar. You are doing a grand job holding Charlotte to the ladder.

Your quilt is gorgeous.

Have a lovely weekend, ~
Hugs, Marydon

Guðrún said...

You handled this very well, I admire your skills in raising children.

One Christian Mom said...

Bren, It looks like you are doing a FINE job with Charlotte. :) You got her number easy, and now she WANTS to do the chores. Perfect. Your quilt is coming out beautiful - as usual. I can't wait to see it all done.
God Bless!

Anneatheart said...

Well, I have four daughters, and I honestly don't know what I'm doing either! I know something needs to be done, because this mama is tired of having to do ALL the work.

I just hate to constantly tell them to clean up!

Julie said...

Your a genius! I 'heart' you! :)
Thanks, buddy.
Our boys would get along as well as our girls, Adrian is a huge Lego fanatic. When you guys come to FL to visit our BRAND NEW Legoland, coming soon, we will have to get together. :)