I have to hand it to my husband. When I am all out of creative ideas to motivate our children he pulls one out of no where. Over the past few months I have found it increasingly difficult to get my children to help out and do chores. We have used a chore chart and have had a monetary incentive to help out around the house. It has been working well for quite sometime, several years in fact.
Each week we have given them the option to do up to 5 tasks at $1 per chore. They can do them all, only a few or none. Also there are bonus chores they could do for extra money. This will vary from week to week based on what I have to get done around the house. In the past this has included painting, to gardening, to cleaning to bath tub.
However, recently, my kids seem to lack the motivation to get any chores done with out constant reminders (almost to the level of harassment.) Weeks will go by where they have opted do no chores and earn nothing. I thought maybe is was because they had gotten many of the items they wanted at Christmas but their lack of participation continued through most of January.
Dad’s creative idea
I was out of ideas on how to motivate them and was quote frankly to tired and overwhelmed after Christmas to bagger them onto helping out. Then one morning me and the kids woke up to find “Want Ad’s” for two positions posted on our refrigerator. One was for a “Recycling Manager,” and the second for “Household Security Officer,” The posting listed the duties preformed in the positions and the qualifications necessary to apply. To apply the posting requested applicants submit a resume. It also stated that the weekly pay for the position would be $2 per week.
I was floored at how creative and detailed the job posting was. My husband really got into it. It certainly got my kids attention because the two of them discussed at length, which job they should apply for. Soon after reading the postings they asked my what a resume was. I showed them typical resumes found online and advised them to the type of information they normally contained.
My daughter decided to apply for the” Household Security Officer.” This position required her to turn the porch and front door light on each night and off each morning. It also required her to check the front and back doors each night before bed to make sure they were locked.
My son opted for the “Recycling Manager” position. This entailed taking the plastic bottles and cardboard recycling to the appropriate bin near our garbage and making sure it was put out for collection each week.
The two of them took the applications very seriously and worked together for hours (in almost silence) crafting their resumes. The enthusiasm and eagerness this creative approach brought forth was amazing. Once my husband “reviewed” the applications and choose the best person for the position, they we’re so excited.
Surprisingly, they have been preforming their job duties fairly consistently each week. My daughter has forgotten a few times. However, she got her act together when she was told she may be fired for not fulfilling the job requirements and her little brother could then apply for her position.
I don’t know if it is the sense of ownership, the title or the acting like a grown-up but my husband certainly tapped into something with this idea. It has been a great life lesson for my kids about what is required to get and hold on to a job. Mainly it is about trying your hardest, showing up consistently, and doing what you where I hired to do. Now if only some adults can learn this.