Pay-Off

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about needing to get back into a good chore routine and in particular needing to follow up and inspect to make sure the jobs were done well. I’ve been doing that for about two weeks now and am starting to see the results!

One nice thing about our rainy week last week was that it gave me a great opportunity to see that if I was consistent about having the children do their regular jobs and tidy up when they moved from one activity to another that the house would stay reasonably neat. It did get a little rough around the edges, but I realized that that is mostly me because I was working on several projects and left them out in piles when I was done- thinking I would get back to the later in the day!

I had mentioned also how much trouble I have had getting Mouse to do things that she finds hard or boring, and how I would often just give up and do it myself… The past couple of weeks I have made it a priority to have her clean up her room and make her bed every morning and again after naps. When she thinks she’s done I go up, check the room against her checklist and pile everything that is in the wrong place in the middle of her floor. She then fixes it and calls for another inspection. The first week she spent a great deal of time being sent back to do the job over, particularly after naps. The boys would be done and go out to play and have their snack and she would still be working and whining. Once that happened a couple of times though she figured out that she was not going anywhere or doing anything until her room passed and started working on it as soon as I said naps were over. She has also realized that the more mess she makes the longer it will take to clean up and the amount of initial mess has been reduced quite a bit!

I wondered how long it would take her to figure out that it is easier to do the job right the first time than to be sent back to do it again. Seems like about two weeks was the time-frame for that realization as this morning her room passed on the first inspection!

Has it gotten any easier for me to be consistent in inspecting and supervising? No, not really. I am encouraged by the visible difference, but need more time to develop the habits that will keep things moving. The small pay-offs are a big help in continuing on. So much so that I have added a chore chart for myself as well- and need to go make my bed so I can check it off!

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