Manager at Kitchenville

The kids have chores. Our oldest is on Breakfast Duty (since that seems to be the only time of day he is around) and two others are on Dinner Duty. It essentially means they are responsible for making sure the dishes are all in the dishwasher, the food is put away and the counters, tables and floors are clean. At dinner the Dishes Duty person also runs the dishwasher.

I now know why we don’t have nine-year-olds working at McDonalds. Is it a focus issue? An attention to detail (or lack there of)? Maybe a game of “let’s see how little I have to work without being reprimanded.” Anyway we are several MONTHS into this new routine and I still feel like I am constantly reminding them to do things and/or do them right.

Examples:
The Floors and Table person (you guessed it) cleans the floors AND table but too frequently I whip-out the coloring books and have to peel them off the syrupy table that did not get washed.

How many times have I told one of the kids that you have to rinse out the oatmeal from the cereal bowls or it will turn into cement (however this same kid will take the oatmeal cemented bowls after the dishwasher cycle is done and put them away in the cupboard).

So my latest solution is to make the kids put on an apron, and a name tag, punch-in, punch-out and have another sibling serve as the supervisor. If you don’t want your little sister to say, “Hey, you missed a spot!” then do it right the first time.

I’ve been trying to be “Publisher Clearing House Winner” excited when I catch them doing their job right but I have a hard time oozing over basic expectations. Maybe more encouragement or rewards would work to get them into the habit and then have the need for praise would trickle off.

So what are your tricks? What has worked for you? Any suggestions?

-Cindy

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4 thoughts on “Manager at Kitchenville

  1. I’m still trying to wean myself from following behind my kiddos and doing it over again myself. Reminds me of a quote I got from my dad who used to say, “How is it you never have time to do it right, but you always have time to do it over.” Sorry, I know that wasn’t much help. But I applaud you for making your kids do chores in the first place. It doesn’t really matter how well they do it now, just that they do it. They will get better. Keep encouraging them.

    • Thank you for the encouragement. I question whether it would be easier to just have them “watch and learn” as I do it but I think they need the hands-on approach (I just need more patience!)

  2. It used to make me crazy, but now I leave the kitchen. My kids are supposed to clean up their own plates and put them in the dishwasher, put away anything leftover into the fridge (I put leftovers into plastic containers, but they have to put them in the fridge), and wipe the table. Sometimes we have music playing — their choice — but mostly they just clean up. Oh, and we save dessert until after the kitchen is clean. The promise of sugar is a huge incentive in our house.

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