Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The experiment begins

The Friesen Family Experiment begins on September 1, 2013

Scott and I read the book  "Cleaning House...A mom's 12 month experiment to rid her home of youth entitlement" by Kay Wills Wyma. , and have decided to try out the author's experiment on our own children.

In her experiment to get rid of youth entitlement in her home, she wrote down the things she wanted her kids to know when they left home (hopefully at age 18). You can read all about it on her MOAT blog. Then each month, for a year, she challenges them to take on more responsibility and leadership in the home, she teaches them and guides them, and has to constantly motivate them..but all the benefits we read seem to be worth it.

So, with only a few days until Sepember 1st, we had our first family council meeting tonight.
We put three jars in the middle of the table. Each one has a child's name on it, and 30 golden coins inside. (Kay actually puts money inside...but we have decided against this for stealing/cheating reasons). Then, Scott asks them, "Who wants to make more money?"...all three put up their hands, including Luke who does everything his big brothers do. We write down how much they are making with allowance a month, and then give them the awesome surprise that now they can earn up to $30 a month, of course...doubling what they make now. They are all very happy at this point.
We explain that each jar holds 30 gold coins. They only have one job to do, and if they can complete the job every day, they can keep all the coins, and cash them in at the end of the month. That means, no talking about toys/treats/shopping...until the end of the month...they will not have money to spend until THE END OF THE MONTH.  There will be no more allowance. Whoa...this one was harder for them to grasp. HAHAHAHA!
Then, they asked, "Do we have to can peaches?"...Mom has been doing this all week...and they really don't want to help with this. HAHAHAHAHA!


That means, that there is nothing on the floor, and nothing on the bed..they can choose where it goes...but it cannot be on the beds or on the floor when Mom checks in the morning.

If they can do this, they get to keep all the coins and cash them in at the end of the month. If a bed is not made, or something is on the floor, they lose a coin.

I will not remind them, nag them, or make them go back to do it...they just lose a coin from the jar.

There were lots of questions...how well do we have to make the bed? What if Luke puts something on the floor, do I loose my coin? What if the bed is unmade, and the floor is dirty..is that two coins?

If they share a room, they need to help each other keep the floor clean. There is no..."he put it there"...if something is on the floor, Mom will take a coin from each jar. If they don't make the bed, and there is stuff on the floor..they still only lose one coin a day.

So...each child put the jar in their room, and already started cleaning up...in preparation for Sept 1st. I also showed them how I want the beds made (yes..I am a control freak..and this is going to be hard for me!)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Work for Pay Day

A summer day...raining...no more screen time...bored of building lego...what to do?

Work for Pay Day

I made a list of small jobs on the blackboard. Each job is worth 25 cents. When the kids are bored, looking for something to do, or want to make a bit of money, they can do one. I check for a job well done and they get a quarter. The can do as many as they want, whenever they want, throughout the day. And if they think of their own jobs, I will add them to the list.

Wash one window
Clean one toilet
Clean one mirror
Clean door handles
Wash down front of cupboards in the kitchen
Wipe down kitchen chairs
Fold blankets in bench
Dust piano
Fold laundry
Unload dishwasher
Clean light switches
Take out garbage
Sort small basket of Lego

After screens were shut off this morning...I presented the idea, and right away Tyler wanted to clean toilets (can you believe this is his favorite chore?), Zach started on windows and Luke and I did mirrors together.

Later on in the morning, they started quarelling, so instead of a time out, I had them complete one job, without pay. This only happened once, and they caught on.

While Tyler cleaned the door handles, he asked if he could do the closet door handles too...what a sweetheart..I gave him an extra quarter for such a willing attitude.

Later in the afternoon, I offered a trip to the dollar store. I informed them that we would be making a trip to a specific store, and they could spend whatever money made on whatever they wanted. Yep...this doesn't happen very often in our house (usually we have them wait 2 weeks before spending any allowance/money earned..so they can actually think about what they want to buy).

The jobs were done in no time at all, and every one was happy to have the immediate reward. Luke picked a chocolate bar, Tyler picked a nerf gun, and Zach picked cards. Ah...they are so happy. It won't last long, but they are happy right now.

It was a good day, the house is clean, and I hope they learned just how much I actually do around here.