The alarm rang and rang and rang and rang.
And rang this morning.
My 11 year old's alarm. The one she set up on her iPod with that rotary phone ring.
10 minutes later, it resumed.
Followed by my son's alarm - the one that sounds like there is a nuclear attack from which we need to run for cover.
He, climbs down from his loft, heads for the bathroom, returns to his room, gets dressed, and comes down for breakfast. He is 8.
She, attempts snooze one more time.
This has been our first week of school. I've not entered their rooms to wake them - for my, ahem, "approach" for getting them out of bed always leads to heated words. And as I desire to create as tranquil a morning as I can . . . we've settled on having them set, and rise, to their own alarms.
11 and 8. Completely doable.
There are some other responsibilities I've given them, that I feel their ages can handle:
- Laundry: The 11 year old does hers from start to finish. My 8 year old puts away the clothes I fold for him.
- Dishwasher: While items are not always put away exactly where I would put them, I've given them this job, and they can handle it. Why balk at a pot put in the wrong place? Trying not to micro-manage here.
- Dogs: They walk them. They pick up the poop.
- Dinner Table: They set it.
- Bathroom: The 11 year gets that one.
- Walls and Molding: Those "magic eraser" sponges make this chore fun, fun, fun! (For me - 'cause I don't do it!)
- Lunches: They pack them. Under supervision. I'm uber-careful about what food we have in the house.
I am a HUGE fan of Stephanie O'Dea from 365 Days of Slow Cooking fame. But not only does she do magic with that thing, she also has some GREAT SUGGESTIONS for deciding on what chores children can handle at what ages.
Now that summer is over, I'm admitting that I'm a better mother all around (not that I want to open THAT can of worms again), especially because my children take on the above responsibilities which frees me up to do my actual paying job, handle the bulk of the laundry, straighten up the house, organize our finances, grocery shop, run errands, and cook dinner . . . which, I know, I know, all of YOU do these things, too. I'm trying to "re-learn" how to cook from scratch, to help my family and more specifically, my daughter. So this is new learning curve for me as I work towards preparing real food and some gluten-free at that.
So, yeah, I need help.
They will do. Hired! (Albeit, without pay.)
What chores do your children complete around the home, and how old are your children?
Joline Pinto Atkins is an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be found writing at The Cuppa Jo, and is the founder and a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 11 and 7, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by exercising and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask.