So we sat with the kids and started brainstorming what consequences there should be. Here's what they came up with:
- 4 Foot Rule - this one surprised me. Basically they felt if someone wasn't doing his or her chores then they need to stay near a parent. They also said the person shouldn't be able to hang out/ isolate in their room.
- Homework (a frequent excuse for not having time to do chores) can't be done in bedroom, must be done in a common area with supervision.
- Soup Kitchen - this one is very effective with Kitty. Maybe too effective because it's mere mention triggers her somewhat.
- Eating at the Table - in our house we rarely eat at the dining room table. (Yes, we are horrible parents who allow our children to eat in front of the TV, but at least we all eat at the same time so we're still together.) Those eating at the table are not able to watch TV and would be eating with a parent.
- No Electronics - no TV, computer, Play Station...
- Extra chores
- 750 word essay on why it's important to do chores
- Saturday Do All Undone Chores
- No friends over or going to friend's houses.
- 2 Days Conseuqences - Whatever the consequences chosen will last the equivalent of "2 days." That means if they skip a late evening chore and of course dinner is already over then the following two days they'll have to eat their soup at the dining room table. If it's a morning chore then they might be done with their consequence after the following day.
- Mom gets to choose what the consequence will be.
We talked about some changes to the chore chart - for example on Wednesdays we all do volunteer work in the eveningso I changed it from bathrooms to bedrooms (which can be done in the mornings or throughout the week and they're the only one that would mess up their own room).
After our family meeting I had dropped off the littles and was driving to meet Hubby and Bear at Bear's therapy, when all of the sudden I suddenly realized the focus shouldn't be on punishments and consequences, but on earning privileges.
Eating in the family room in front of TV is a privilege. Electronics are a privilege. The rule is already that you can't turn on the electronics until your chores are done, but we tend to let it slide after the majority of the kids' have their chores done. Kitty (one of the worst offenders when it comes to not doing chores) tends to head straight out to the backyard to destress when she gets home, by the time she comes back in the other kids are done and the next thing I know she's watching TV.
Bear is my second worst offender, but most of his chores are late evening chores or not always totally noticeable if he pretends he did it (he's not a clutter bug like Kitty and he's been known to hide things from the room he's cleaning in someone else's space). He also doesn't care much about TV or being isolated. For him having to do the writing assignment would be huge, but of course that's a punishment not a privilege. Hmmmm....
So I think I need to be focused on enforcing our family rules with an emphasis on earning privileges.