I have heard it said more than once that children thrive on routines. I also know that it is the lack of strong, established routines that often cause our family life to feel so out-of-control. I need to work on this. While I don't want it to be so ridged that we can't (every once in a while) just throw the routines out the window and be spontaneous and have fun, I do want to have some systems in place so that my children can experience a better atmosphere to grow and thrive.
The first thing that I am going to focus on establishing is a working "chore" system. Believe it or not, some of my kids have been requesting this! "Mom, you should make a list so that we know what each person has to do every day and then we can put a smiley face by it when we get it done." Along with this, I want to incorporate an allowance system. Teaching them that, as members of our family, we are all expected to do certain things. (Ex: make our beds, carry down our own laundry, pick up toys) In addition to those tasks, they can have the opportunity to earn money by going above and beyond. (Ex: matching up the socks and putting them away, cleaning and wiping out the dish drawers) And I want them to each have their own place to keep their money- some for "saving", some for "spending", and some to put in the collection at Sunday School.
A while back, I came across a kit of sorts to help establish a system of chores. I stumbled on it through A Prudent Homemaker's recommended reading list. It has been on my mind ever since, as I have mentally wrestled with the idea of having to spend money to set up a "Job Chart". Seems so simple. But, everything I have tried in the past has petered out, or sometimes never even made it off the ground. I have decided that today I am going to order MANAGERS OF THEIR CHORES. I will keep you updated on how it all works out.