Job Failing



One of the things that happens frequently around here is jobs done halfway and left in hopes that no one will notice! Sometimes (most of the time) this is an attitude problem as much as anything and simply calling the child back to redo the job doesn’t usually help them fix the attitude.

We’ve been giving extra jobs for poorly done work or a bad attitude about work for a long time on the theory that more practice working should help with attitude and performance but things weren’t improving that much.

S asked me to write a list of extra jobs as it seemed that one of the problems was inconsistency with appropriate extra work (isn’t parental consistency always part of the problem?) or with us not being able to think of a job and so nothing being assigned.


I thought for a bit and wrote this:



All jobs that should take 5-10 minutes and that are nice to have done but not essential.

Job Fails work like this:

You do a regular job or one you were asked to do, call for an inspection and fail the inspection- you earn a job which must be successfully completed before you can redo the original job. If the Earned Job fails you earn another job which must be completed before you can redo the original Earned Job which must be completed before redoing the original Non Earned Job.

Failing to complete the job within a reasonable time frame is also a job failure and earns a job.

Of course this means that on occasion a child has managed to give themselves an afternoon’s worth of work but that is not something that happens often as working while the others are playing tends to be self-correcting. There is usually some weeping and gnashing of teeth when this happens but that is a great chance to address attitude problems.

Slowly the children are learning that working well is its own reward and that their attitude choices make a big difference in how well a job gets done. I’m much more able to be consistent with a list to work from and clear expectations for success and failure.

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