Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Dish Duty 101: Clean the Counters | Family Economics
“Who’s doing the dishes tonight?”
This question has been asked too many times in our house! And when it’s asked, no one wants to volunteer the answer.
Even with fancy chore charts and creative ways to teach kids about responsibility, my husband and I are still looking for “new” ways and ideas for simplifying chores. I bet most families in America struggle with this as well – dishes, that is!
A few months back, our family came together for a meeting to discuss house rules, chores and allowances. Each kid came prepared with a clipboard, pencil and took notes. They then typed up individual contracts, signing them, and agreeing that they would be responsible and work toward their allowance each month. One thing that has worked fabulously for our family is what we call: Dish Duty 101!
At the beginning of each month, we write the kids’ initials on each day of the calendar. This has eliminated the conversation about, “whose turn it is to do dishes?” Each kid knows that if their initial is on the calendar, then it’s their responsibility to do dishes for the entire day. And not only complete the dishes, but to wipe off the counters. We always keep a bottle of household cleaner under the kitchen sink - easy to grab and to spray the counters down to make them shining clean!
They know now to check the calendar daily, and they know if they are going to be gone, to ask a sibling to cover for them.
I’ve had to get over the dishes not being done perfectly, or things not being put away like I prefer. My hubby has helped me understand that overcorrecting the kids isn’t very productive. I’m thankful for their effort and willingness to work together.
The contracts are hanging by the calendar now and the kids are in the habit of checking daily if it’s their dish duty day. Trying to keep the flow of the kitchen moving in a smooth fashion – alternating the kids and teaching them about Dish Duty 101 – works great for our family!
What do you do about dishes in your home?