“Who’s doing the dishes tonight?”
This question has been asked too many times in our home! And when it’s asked, no one wants to volunteer the answer!
Even with fancy chore charts and creative ways to teach kids about responsibility, Paul and I are still looking for “new” ways and ideas for simplifying chores in our home. I bet most families in America struggle with this as well – dishes, that is!
A few months back, I talked about our family coming together for a meeting to discuss house rules, chores and allowances. Each kid came prepared with a clipboard, a pencil, and was asked to take notes. They then typed up individual contracts, signing them, and agreeing that they would be responsible and work toward their allowance each month.
A few readers asked me if I would share what the contracts included. To respect the privacy of our kids, I won’t do that (even tho they were so darn clever!) but I will say that each contract had to do with cleaning the pool, mowing the lawn, cleaning the bathrooms, making beds, practicing violin, picking up Haggis doo-doo, pulling weeds, etc. One thing that has worked fabulously for the last two months is what we call: Dish Duty 101!
At the beginning of each month, we write the kids’ initials on each day of the calendar. This has eliminated the conversation about, “whose turn it is to do dishes?” Each kid knows that if their initial is on the calendar, then it’s their responsibility to do dishes for the entire day! They know to check the calendar daily, and they know if they are going to be gone, to ask a sibling to cover for them.
I’ve had to get over the dishes not being done perfectly, or things being put away like I would prefer. My hubby has helped me learn to not overcorrect the kids if dishes are not done perfectly. (Isn’t that our job as mothers? To constantly correct? Not!!) I’ve learned to come along and say, “good job!" and it actually feels really good. And I’m thankful for their effort and willingness to work together.
The contracts are hanging by the calendar now and the kids are in the habit of checking daily if it’s their DISH DUTY day. Trying to keep the flow of the kitchen moving in a smoother fashion – alternating the kids and teaching them about Dish Duty 101 - works great for our family!
What do you do about dishes in your home?
(Above photos are taken from our strawberry bed in our backyard! We’ve never seen so many strawberry blossoms – which is good news! A BUMPER CROP OF STRAWBERRIES! Our bed is about 8 x 24 feet (for those interested). We purchase a few new plants of “ever bearing” strawberries every spring, planting them between the old ones.)
One of our favorite family traditions of eating strawberries is to dip them in sour cream, then roll in brown sugar. YUM!
And my husband ordered me a “surprise” from Gurney’s Catalog. Does anyone want to guess what came in the mail, to be planted in our garden?