Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Getting Ready for the Summer

Wow! I can't believe how fast this last school year has gone.  It seems like the kids just started. 
My kids are so excited for their summer break, and so am I.  No more homework, concerts, special projects, and field trips.  Though my children all love school and do well, they need a break.  Here where we live everything kind of goes on a break dance classes, piano lessons, all take a break during the summer months.  So we spend our time with swimming lessons and summer sports, like baseball and soccer.  There are also lots of summer camps to keep the kids busy.
Every year as my children have approached the summer break I try and come up with a new, different way to approach our chores.  I always have a long list of big things I hope to accomplish and then the everyday things that need to happen.  Oh, and don't forget the yard work.  Our home sits in the middle of 2 acres and all of it is yard.  We've lived here for 9 years and each year we have lots to do outside as we have been transforming our little piece of  land.  It's hard not to overwhelm the kids and also keep them motivated.  My children are ages 19-11 I have 1 son and 3 daughters.  They are all capable of a lot.  They don't need babied and do a great job with what I give them,  we still need to shake it up each year to have some fun.  
This year we decieded, since the older kids are busy and have been slacking off big time in the chore department, but yet are constantly needing money or wanting to go do things with their friends, we needed to make some changes.  So I made a calendar for each kid of the summer months, gave them daily chores, and assigned a dollar amount to each of those chores.  I then made a list of deep clean chores and projects that I was hoping we would accomplish.  I also attached a dollar amount to each of them.  We then had a family meeting to discuss this.  The kids gave their input, I was excited because they were all on board, even the 19 yr old.  I made some adjustments to the lists and money, and since they were all so excited we started this last week of school getting  into our new grove.  
We made sure our kids knew the expectations and rules of this chore chart.  Some of them are,; We expected them to purchase all of their school clothes for fall, save at least 50% of everything they made, pay their tithing, and create a budget to keep track of their earnings.  This wasn't new stuff, they are already use to doing most of this.  But never have we given them this amount of allowance. Also any of their chores that Dad and I end up doing we get the money.  We are collecting it and putting it in a jar, so that at the end of the summer they have a visual of what they missed out.  We then are going to put that towards our Anniversary get away this fall. 
  We are hoping that they learn to manage their money better, respect the house, have more gratitude for what they have, and be more helpful.  
I know there will be some bad days.  Some "that's not fair, and I don't want to do this".  We are also hoping for them to understand just because you don't love the work you are doing, you can make it fun, work hard and you will be rewarded.  If not then you end up with nothing, and are not happy.  That's a lesson I would like them to learn while they are young and not in their 40s or 50s when it might be a little late to fix some really big problems that not managing your money can put you in.  

I would love to hear some of your ideas on this topic.  Having teenagers is not how I pictured it would be.  I think we should all be tring to help each other raise our kids to be happy independent people who give in society and make a difference, and not be in the attitude that someone should always be taking care of them and that they deserve it.

Keeping it Simple