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Live, Love, Blend: Cinderella Does Not Live Here

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Live, Love, Blend:
Cinderella Does Not Live Here

You may be surprised to learn that cleaning house is not a mother’s favorite thing to do. What, you’re not surprised? Well my kids certainly seem to find it shocking. Isn’t all the cooking and cleaning supposed to fall to mom? Um.. no.

Lately I’ve been talking to several other families to get their take on chores. It turns out I am not alone. Moms (blended or not) have learned that the only way to keep up with our fast-paced lives and schedules is to DIVIDE and CONQUER. And just for the record, we don’t pay our kids to do chores. Taking care of our home is expected from everyone in the family, whether they live with us full time, visit every other weekend, or just show up for college breaks. Incentives might be offered for projects that are over and above the norm, but for the most part chores are not a cash business.

That being said, here are a few interesting suggestions I plan to implement…

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DON’T WIMP OUT

FarmChores

After a recent visit to the midwest, I’ve decided that my city kids are wimps compared to farm kids when it comes to chores. On a farm, kids are up early collecting eggs & scooping poop. My kids think sweeping the kitchen is a major task! Time to toughen up and add more chores to our list. Kids are very capable, and accomplishing tasks is good for their self-esteem. Who are you helping when you let them take the easy way out? No one!

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Ways To Teach Your Kids Compassion

WORK OR PAY

carwash

Not everyone agrees on this, but honestly I like the idea of allowing kids to pay their siblings to do their chores. For instance, one of our boys has a job. I still assign him chores even though I know he doesn’t have a lot of free time. Sorry buddy, mom has a job too but you all still expect to eat, right?! However, if he chooses to pay his brother to do those chores I’m okay with it. That’s how the world works. If I don’t want to wash my car I pay to go through the car wash (or make the kids do it). It’s a good life lesson in budgeting time versus money.

Read more: Ask Rene: Should A Teen Be Paid To Clean?

NO FREE RIDE

RENTvsCHORES

What about grown children? This is a new concept for our family, and I don’t yet know how well these suggestions will go over, but I think it makes sense…

If you are over 18 and you’re living at home, you need to either pay rent or do enough work around the house to earn your room & board.

This includes college students even when they’re just “visiting” for winter or summer break. If they’re home for more than a weekend, they need to contribute to the household. These are important lessons and learning doesn’t stop just because school is on break.

Read more: Ask Rene: The Responsibility Is KILLING Me!

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You hear people all the time talking about how kids today have lost the work ethic of past generations. Well guess who is tasked with teaching them that work ethic? We are! Parents and step-parents need to decide as a team where they stand on the subject of chores, and then enforce them as a united front.

How do you implement chores at your house?

I’d love to hear what worked, or didn’t, for your family!

andi parker

Andi Parker is a sweet but stubborn wife, and a motivated, multitasking mom of five. Kids include two “originals”, boys ages 13 & 9, and three “steps”, boys ages 18 & 14, and a 7-year-old girl. Andi works as a TV Producer for a Christian TV Network and freelances as a Traffic Reporter for an NBC affiliate. Her heart is set on sharing victories and life experiences in order to encourage and inspire other blended family working moms… or any gal who’s ever had to juggle a man, a job, kids, friends, chores, etc. Andi blogs at LiveLoveBlend.com.

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