When my brothers and I were growing up, we had defined chores that rotated every day, and we dare not make any bones about whose turn it was to do what. My parents didn’t give a damn who did what. We knew when we had to clean and what we had to clean. That was an ironfist society.
When I tell Cameron and Lexie its time to clean, even though they’ve been doing chores for years, there’s always something that one of them forgot to do, that the other feels they shouldn’t have to when the chore duty rotates. So then a discussion is had about who did or didn’t do what. Cameron and Lexie like to play that tit for tat bullshit and it gets on my nerves. So what I do now is, whoever didn’t completely do everything they’re tasked with on a given day, then their workload is increased.
The effect of this approach is that not only can I go on about my business, but it effectually has them governing each other. Cameron might have dishes and floors, and Lexie might have trash, recycle, and countertops. Yet, even with this approach, it’s not always a solid design. They are kids and because of this fact, they feel that chores aren’t things they need to commit to their brains. I DON’T KNOW.
So when they ask to go out to eat, or a few extra dollars, etc. my answer is no. They don’t understand it, or rather, pretend not to. They understand that I expect the house-especially the kitchen-to be clean, but they don’t consistently make the effort that leaves a shine.
Ever since they got new smartphones, it’s like they started slacking on the effort, so it seems. Growing up at home, when we didn’t do the job right, we had to do it all over again. If there was a tiny bit of food on a fork sitting in the drying rack, the whole drying rack was emptied back into the sink, and the dishwashing started again. I guess looking back on those times, it wasn’t that my parents were being mean or anything, because as a parent, myself, we teach these kids attention to detail, and a bit of care, and they’d better get it right the first time or do it all over a second time.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t irritated by Cameron and Lexie’s chore ethic. I really hate resolving who’s got what chore to do. So, in exchange of that, I just hand down restrictions. Their problem not mine.