Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dreaded Chores

Right now, Davan is not pulling her weight chore-wise.  There have been other times that she's done a good job of doing chores without fuss.  More often, though, I have to say that we are not in harmony chore-wise.

We've tried a variety of approaches.  Often a new approach works for a while.  Then it stops working.  Then there is the ignoring of the fact that it's not working stage.  Then there is hounding to do chores on my part and resentment on Davan's part.  Then, usually, we try a new approach.

How often that new approach works varies.  Really I've seen results anywhere from a day to a few months.  

The ignoring phase varies also.  During the ignoring phase, somethings might go past my comfort level.  Sometimes I might do all the cleaning.  Sometimes Davan will actually do the chores.

Then we enter hounding.  I get angry that she's not doing anything.  She is angry that I'm insinuating that she doesn't work or she's contrite.  Maybe there's an improvement, but it usually doesn't last.

Next it's time to formulate a new plan.  I'd be okay with this system if the new plan were guaranteed to work for, oh, three months and then we could cooperatively decide it wasn't working anymore and come up with a new plan, but that isn't how it goes.

I'm fairly frustrated with how it does go.  Right now, we're in the about to come up with a new plan phase.  I think the newest plan will be to have a two-three time a week work party where we both buckle down and do chores for the duration of, say, ten songs we choose.  The main problem I have with this is that, while that will take care of the regular cleaning our small abode needs, it doesn't really take care of the on-going issues.

On a daily basis, I prepare and clean up after meals and snacks, grocery shop, walk the dog, feed and water the dog and do laundry.  Davan is of the age where I think she could be shouldering a much bigger portion of the work load than she currently is.  However, I'm also a push over.  I freely admit that this is part of the problem.

I want Davan to eat healthily and, for the most part, her food is healthier if I put it together.  That said, there have been good stretches of time in the past where she's been responsible for her own breakfast and that's gone okay.  It's just, if I'm making breakfast for myself, it's usually not that much more difficult to make it for her, too, and then she's eating good stuff.  

Also, I hate to make her wake up early and take the dog out when she's tired from a late class the night before or when she'll have a late class that night, which means most weekdays. 

Another large part of the problem with having her do half the house hold work is that she is pretty busy with classes.   And I've mentioned that I'm a push over, right?  

There have been time that Davan has been responsible for one dinner a week - the planning, shopping and everything involved for that one meal.  However, she doesn't like to do it when we've got company or it's the weekend and can't on certain days of the week due to classes.  And I'm still a push over.

Thus, I've pretty much talked myself into being okay with the two or three times a week work parties.  At least she's helping some then.  And when it's routine, I get a lot less of the resigned attitude, but, believe me, that rarely goes totally away when it comes to chores.  With Davan, this isn't an overt thing, it's pretty subtle, but it's there and it grates on me.  

Okay, one more chore complaint, and this one, I'm not sure what to do about.  She doesn't do as good a job as I want her to.  I try to be comfortable with a lesser job and just be glad I'm not doing it, but that ends up getting to me eventually.  I try to give her some good home training, but she is, shall we say, not overly receptive and it often ends up being rather confrontational.  So, then I go back to trying to just be glad she's doing something...yeah, it's a whole cycle thing again.

I know, I know, chores are one of those things that parents and kids are supposed to clash about, right?  But I want it to be different for us.  Is that so bad?

I do have to say that Davan is responsible for her own room and that never falters.  She keeps it tidy most of the time, vacuums regularly and does her own sheets.  (In fact, that's her, just above, taking care of her sheets yesterday.)  Sometimes she does need a little help with deep cleaning, but this is one area that has developed well.

So, yeah.  If you've got kids and read here, what do you do about chores?  Is it working for you?


  1. I could make a comment but my hands are too cold. Maybe another time.

  2. Ahhh...what to say? Keilee is not very good at chores either. Her room looks like a disaster area. She is better at helping me around the house than cleaning her room. A little better... And she doesn't do as good of a job as I can do. Her age? I know she has to be responsible but honestly, most of the time it is easier to do it myself. Looking forward to seeing if you find anything that sticks.

  3. My solutions?
    Relax your standards.
    At our house since about age 12, the kids do their own laundry. Their room is their mess. If they want to live in a dirty sphincter, then they need to push the mess aside enough for me to be able to close the door. No food is allowed in their rooms, though. We don't need ants. Or uncles. Ha.

    Stuff gets done when someone feels like doing it. Occasionally it piles up and we all pitch in.

    Or a relative makes good on their threat to come see us and in about four hours we can make the whole place look presentable.

    I tell people, excuse the mess, but we live here.
    And I figure if they don't like it and don't want to look at it, they can go back to their own perfect house.

  4. kids with a tidy room? amazing. we've never done well with a chore 'schedule' of sorts. it's just whatever needs the most attention at the moment. sometimes, when it's really bad... i threaten to post a picture of it on the blog! ha!! ;)