Getting Your Children to Help

All it took was one great goal to motivate the boys to eagerly do their chores

IMG_2529Brev’s post sticks his list of goals to get Muki?ropers pups 4 weeks 003

Everybody and their mother has told me that I must be insane to get a puppy when I already have so much chaos in my life but I disagree. I really can’t imagine raising three boys without ever giving them the opportunity to learn what it is like to take care of something that they can call their own.

The boys have no doubt that their daddy absolutely, unequivocally does not want a furry beast in our house to add to the mayhem and so I have enlisted their help to create a motivational chart of chores where they can record all of their hard earned work with the ultimate goal of raising 250 points, all for the love of Muki.

In providing this opportunity for them to succeed I have discovered the golden key to success. The points can only be obtained if they work collaboratively with each one helping the other to complete their task. They can get as many points as they want in a day and it does not matter what chores they choose and all of the points are based on an honor system. We also came up with a list of bad behavior that will work against them if they get an X.

Already, the boys have completely changed their attitudes and have been working their tails off, so to speak, to convince us that they will work hard once Muki arrives. “Yes mommy,” Axel says whenever I ask him to do something. “Did I just get an X?” Tucker asks after he has a little melt down over getting his shoes on.

The other night Brevitt was up late with me cleaning the kitchen and he said, “I feel so weird that I am helping you so much.” I agreed that it felt strange but wonderful that I had him as a companion to help me around the house.

I’m thinking that if we all whipped our children into shape the future will be filled with conscientious and capable adults who understand the importance of teamwork and helping others.

If a dog is not what you had in mind,  find something else that the kids will consider worth working for; a trip somewhere different, a massive sleepover, ice cream for breakfast for a week.

It is true that they are driving us crazy with their complete obsession with the chart but the benefits make up for all of the annoyances.

It was the other night, when I was like the walking dead after only five hours of sleep, that I truly realized that I had tapped into an incredible solution to my daily frustrations.

I told the boys that I needed to go to bed and watched as they bustled around me cleaning up the house before they retired with me. Tucker emerged from the bathroom with his pants down on his ankles and asked, “Which brudder wants to wipe my bottom?” and both Brevitt and Axel ran over to help him and get a point.

Now the most common question is what happens when Muki actually arrives on the scene in the spring? I guess the answer is that I will have to come up with more goals, as giving them an allowance causes fierce competitiveness and more fighting.

We’ll take each step as it comes but for now the house is a whole lot tidier and my workload has decreased significantly, making me a much happier mommy.


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11 thoughts on “Getting Your Children to Help”

  1. Hi Jillian! Fabulous! See how creativity in parenting is simply the BEST?! Beats screaming every time. You do what WORKS and for everyone it may be different and all of this is ok. You will find another carrot to dangle now that you got the ball rolling, so to speak. I’m SOOO glad you are reaping the rewards and you are so right on with the training aspects. Of course Brev thought it was weird to help out so much – he needs to get used to this, haha! Yay YOU!
    .-= suzen´s last blog ..Maryland Zoo partners with the B&O Railroad, Maryland Science Center, and Port Discovery for the Months of January and February. =-.

  2. What a wonderful idea! Having the children participate in maintaining the home is such a relief. The fact that your boys jumped to wipe Tucker’s bottom? Priceless!

    I always tell my children that as a family, we should work together as a unit with a common goal- that is to not live in a pigsty! It hasn’t quite taken hold yet but implementing your idea might be just the ticket. They would certainly love ice cream for breakfast! The puppy is adorable.

  3. What an awesome system, Jillian! I loved reading about it. I would have loved having a creative mom like you when I was little. In our house, though, if we didn’t do our chores the repercussions were enough to dissuade us from acting that way again. (smile)
    Keep at it, and please keep sharing stories!
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last blog ..Authenticity = New Definitions =-.

  4. How come I have a kitten, guinne pig, hamster and a soon arrival of a bunny and yet I clean the house alone and have to feed, water and change cages. Clearly the Tykulsky children need to go live at The Livingston residents for awhile!
    You are just a wonderful mother. Really.
    Hayden and Tasha loved the part of your article of Tucker needing his “budders” help him with his bottom. Why do children think that anything that has to do with bathrooms is hysterical?
    Well… you have even my children reading your bloggs!!!
    And yes….are you CRAZY for getting a puppy!!!!
    Love the name!


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