Some time back, we set up a chore chart for Jennifer. This is just one way we are trying to teach her to be responsible. If she earns 5 stars in one week, she gets her regular allowance. If she gets more than 5 stars, she gets a bonus. Sometimes she stuck to the chore chart, sometimes not. She has learned the consequences of not fulfilling her duties and is working towards consistently getting her chores done every week.
She is usually paid her allowance every Friday but still has to do chores on Saturday, just not as many of them. On Sundays, she doesn't have to do chores. It's her day "off" just like Saturday is mine.
This is something I decided to take advantage of recently. Jennifer DOES do a good job of cleaning her room, but she's just not as thorough as I am. Also, she does not make her bed as expertly as I do. (This has been an exercise in patience for me. I just take a deep breath and remind myself she is doing the best she can! The more often she makes her bed, the better at it she will be.) So, I take Sunday and use that as a day to do a full-scale cleaning job in her bedroom. This includes organizing and sorting.
So that's what I did yesterday. It took me hours but I got the whole bedroom cleaned from top to bottom. I threw out a lot of trash and broken toys, organized her desk drawers, found an old sippy cup under her dresser (with VERY old milk in it -- ew!) and pulled out what furniture I could move to vacuum under and behind it. There was a ginormous mess under the baby's crib and I was sure to put her musical instruments in a safe place where they would not get damaged. I also cleaned out around her bed and fixed up all of her books to where they were all neat and tidy.
I was satisfied with this job and so was she. She was so grateful that she told me she appreciates all of the hard work that I do. She kept thanking me and telling me how much she loved it.
And today, she kept her part of the deal. She cleaned her room herself. She also did extra things earning her bonus points on the chart, like helping me clean the house and helping watch her little brother. She really went the extra mile today. I was proud of her. She even did her homework without me constantly reminding her about it and read a bedtime story to her brother before climbing into bed.
I think this situation will work out better for both of us. Even if she does not do an A+ job cleaning her room during the week, I take comfort in knowing that at least I can tackle anything else on Sundays. She does the best she can and that's what matters.
Also, something off-topic: Jennifer was on the news today! They had a team from a wildlife sanctuary visiting the school with a cheetah and we watched as it showed her commenting that she likes cheetahs because they're really fast. She did so well and she looked REALLY good on TV. Yay, Jen! She was so excited and we were all really happy for her. They ran that clip three times today and I watched it every time. I hope we'll get a copy from the news team.
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