February 26, 2014

Chores: Lessons Not Found in Books (Part II)

My boys have a tendency to leave their toys and other belongings laying about the house in random locations.  If you have boys, I'm sure you can relate.  Legos are everywhere.  In the lint trap of the dryer.  Behind the couch.  Under the refrigerator.  In the dog's mouth.  You'd also be hard pressed to look in any corner of the living room without finding a Matchbox car or Transformers piece or dirty sock.

These sorts of things don't fall under any of our chore categories.  Well, technically, they do, but if you know boys, you know how attentive they are to detail when it comes to cleaning.

One fine day, whilst perusing Pinterest, I fell upon this gem of an idea, lovingly called "Mom's Ransom Box".  Of course, I immediately located an empty Rubbermaid bin and printed out the cute little poem to tape on top of it, provided by Just Another Day in Paradise.

About once a week, I walk through the living space, pick up any out of place items belonging to the boys, and put them all into the bin.

My boys have specific chores they complete each day, and the chores they must complete in order to earn back their belongings from Mom's Ransom Box are above and beyond their regularly scheduled chores.  (If you want to know the reasons we implemented a chores system with our boys, you can check out my previous post.)

Retrieving the mail is generally the one they choose.  They get back one item from the box each time they bring the mail in.  Other chores they could do include washing the laundry, shoveling snow, cleaning the bath tub, or giving the dog a bath, just to name a few.  Although, that last has yet to happen.  I'm usually the one drenched in soapy water and covered in dirty dog hair.

Hopefully, this system, along with their regular chore schedule, is helping to teach my boys responsibility and a respect and appreciation for their belongings.  They are much more careful about leaving their things laying about the house since we implemented the Mom's Ransom Box. 

Give it a try!  I think you'll be pleased with the results.  Let me know how it goes!  Or, if you have another method for getting your kids to take care of their belongings, tell me about it, too!

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