Do you have a task which is shared by your children? Do they argue over whose turn it is to do the task? In the end do you sometimes say, “Forget it. I’ll just do it myself” because the truth is…you yourself no longer have an idea whose turn it is either?
If any of this sounds frustratingly familiar, consider creating some device that remembers for you. Your brain has better things to do than to remember such details….particularly when a simple device can remember it for you. It may be a paper plate with each child’s name written along the edge. You simply attach a clothes pin over the child whose name is up next for duty. When that child is called in to clear the table or pick up the family room, they complete their task and then, they move the clothes pin to the next child. Everyone always knows whose turn it is.
It might be a sturdy piece of paper with little pockets attached to it; one for each child. In the pocket goes anything that can be easily inserted– maybe a cardboard arrow, maybe a skinny ruler, perhaps a bookmark, maybe an unsharpened pencil. Doesn’t matter. The item simply indicates whose turn is now “up”. The benefit of this simpler design over the previous paper plate is that it can be affixed to the inside of a kitchen cabinet or some other such hidden-from-view location.
For years in our house, the shared item that used to result in the greatest arguing was the folding of laundry. So our device is a dial made of cut up folder paper and shaped to look like a laundry dial. The dial is attached with one of those brass colored, two-pronged brads thingeys (probably there is a much more technically accurate name) which allows the dial to swivel from name to name.
Here’s the catch. Sooner or later, one child will walk into the laundry room, see that the dial is pointed toward their name, pivot their head from side to side to see if they’re being observed and then sneakily flip the dial to another child, totally skipping their own turn at bat. Share with your children that you are firmly convinced that this thought would NEVER cross their sweet and innocent young minds. But just in case it did, they should know that those being caught in such an act get to take over duty of the chore full time for 60 days, just to help them remember the impact of such a crime.
Now take a big breath. You have one less thing that you have to keep on your back burner.
(You should know that those of us at Sizzle Bop! are greatly impressed if you actually still have a back burner. Ours left many years ago.)
From your friends at Sizzle Bop!