When Taryn and John were six they started doing chores. They would clear the table, feed the cat, and help put away the dishes. Dallas and I always say that we had to go after them and redo everything. Even with the extra work it was worth it. Taryn and John still do chores. They clear the table and dry the dishes. They deal with the trash and the recycling. They feed the dog and pick up the poop. This is all in addition to dealing with their personal stuff like keeping their bedrooms clean and putting away their laundry.
It was probably the best parenting decision we ever made.
With the twinkies we have given up completely on parenting. The twinkies are only four and they don’t do chores. We try to get them to pick up their toys. It usually winds up with one of us sitting on the floor of their bedroom saying something like this:
“Pick up the legos…pick up the legos…pick up the legos by the bed…pick up the blue lego by the foot of your bed. Pick up the blue lego by the foot of the bed. Pick up the blue lego by the foot of your bed and put it in the bin. Ok, now pick up the green lego.”
It’s really a wonder that my liver is still functioning at all.
Tonight we asked them to pick up the toys from the living room and they actually did it. It was amazing. There was not one toy on the floor. Then I looked under the TV and saw a bunch of matchbox cars.
I said, “There are cars under the TV.”
Reese said, “Yeah, we put all the stuff underneath!”
He was very proud of himself.
They had shoved all the toys under the TV, the couches, and the chair.
They think we’re idiots.
Dallas knelt down and told Reese, “You need to focus, ok? You need to focus. Do you know what focus means?”
“What does it mean?”
It doesn’t mean anything to me either. Not anymore.