Doe Joe on that Beat

I think one of the most important lessons we can teach our kids is responsibility. I have always told my family and friends: my kids are either my problem now or society’s probably later- so I try to teach them how to be right now and do what they’re supposed to do.

The best way to teach kids responsibility at an early age – chores. I actually didn’t mind chores growing up which is probably why I am somewhat of a neat freak now. If my house is in disarray, I can’t function and then everyone is in trouble #workinprogress

According to the Center for Parenting, research indicates that children who have a set of chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification, all of which contribute to greater success in school.* Walah. Bring it on!

This past week, we started chores in the house. At school, my oldest son gets “doe-joe” points if he is a model student and/or does a good deed. So at home, we decided go with “doe-go” dollars as in “do good,” dollars for chores. It was easy peasy and I was willing to give it whirl with my 4 and 6-year old.

This is how the conversation somewhat went down:

Me: “Ok, we are going to start chores this week for an allowance.”

Kids: “Allowance? What’s that?”

Me: “Money!”

Kids: “Oh, like doe-joe points at school?”

Me: Blank stare…”Ohh, yes.”

Me: “We’ll call them doe-go dollars, like do-good dollars, ok?”

Kids: “Ok!”

And then. . . the skies opened up (insert hallelujah music here)

  1. The playroom was immediately cleaned and vacuumed (with little assistance mind you) and I didn’t have to ask twice.
  2. The family room was dusted (with some of my help) without any fighting over who was going to do it.
  3. The beds were made with no issues like whining that tends to drive me KRAZY.
  4. Socks were put on without “I can’t” or “I don’t want to.” Is this a joke?
  5. Shoes were put away BEFORE I broke my ankle and tripped over them.
  6. And most important, they learned to work together – for now at least.

I should have started this when they were 1 and 3 years-old. Now, I’m broke.

In any event, I am glad the kids want to help and can appreciate earning (and saving) money. The best thing about having three kids: I will not be cleaning as much (live in housekeepers); the yard will always be done (yes, work needs be done outside too darlings!); and the laundry service will come to a halt soon (they’ll be washing their own darn clothes) because I am about tired of all these socks.

I can’t wait . . . because the sun always comes out after the rain when your KIDS clean your house. Off to the nail salon!

Sun Taylor

*Center for Parenting Education website

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