Sometimes, reading my blog might give you the illusion that my life is darn near perfect. It's not. I just choose to focus on the positive, for the most part. That's not to say we don't have struggles.
Lately, one of our struggles was the bedtime routine. Jim usually gets home by 6:30 - sometimes later, sometimes much later. He has to eat dinner, attempt to have a short conversation with me, and then play with a boy who adores his daddy. Clean up was supposed to start at 7:45, but that really was NOT happening. Somebody (Jim) would lose track of time and they would still be playing at 8:15 or later. Then somebody (me) would mention clean up time and somebody else would have a meltdown (Dylan). "NOOOOOOOO! I HARDLY GOT TO PLAY WITH DADDY! I CAN'T CLEAN ALL THIS UP! WAAHHH!!!!" That seemed to be the new routine and I was not enjoying it.
I had a plan for months, but didn't get around to making it happen until last week.
Hello, Job Chart! I know we just met and all and I don't want to make you uncomfortable, but umm... I LOVE YOU.
Basically, he has three mandatory jobs. He must take his dishes over to the sink after dinner. He must do the morning routine and he must do the bedtime routine. If he cleans up without complaining and in 15 minutes or less, he gets a smiley star. If he gets 3 stars in one week, he gets 15 minutes extra play time on Friday and Saturday night. Honestly, I had very little hope that he would be able to get 3 stars! Imagine my shock (and jubilation!) about the fact that he got stars each day this week! We ended up giving him even more play time, and judging by his excitement, you would think we gave him gold. Nights have actually been pleasant!
Then, there is the additional bonus - the extra jobs he can do for money. Dylan is funny. He is not materialistic and rarely wants or asks for anything, but he loves money. He plays with it, he collects it, he just likes having it. He has been a cleaning machine this week! I found myself looking around the house saying "Couldn't he handle the vacuum cleaner?! What else can I get him to do?! This place might actually be clean... for a change!"
The Chore Chart... it's not pretty. It's not creative. I didn't make it myself with colors that coordinate with the kitchen. But, so far at least, it works.