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#61 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 11:05 AM
 
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Well, I'll know more come June when our 2nd is born....:LOL

But, we've had plently of playdates with little ones around, and that seems to be a nice "built-in" reason that the kids understand, "We can't leave these Hot Wheels out b/c Baby Kyle could choke on them." They love to help take care of the little kids, so they're happy to oblige.

The little ones try to help, too--putting the Duplos away for example.

The kids who get put into time-out or get scolded for not cleaning up are the first ones to try to get out of it. And I can't really blame them. I try to get out of things that I perceive as unpleasant, too.

Anyway, the goal, for me, is to keep things like cleaning up from being a power struggle or from being something *so* unpleasant that no one in their right mind would WANT to do it.
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#62 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 11:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by canadiyank
I get what you're saying. And, as we've discovered, we all do things differently. I think it's important that our children know we're pleased/displeased etc. but there's a fine line between that and making them responsible for our feelings (i.e., I need to do that b/c it makes mommy happy). I try to put the focus more on that it's their responsibility (like you also mentioned). I just know I had a mother who withdrew when I was "bad" and that is very painful so I try to avoid making them responsible for my feelings...not saying you do that, I'm just sensitive to it, yk?

You are right. We do things differently. Just like I would tell ANYONE (including DH or a co-worker) I will tell my kids that I do not like it when I have asked them to do something that is their responsiblity and I HAD TO DO IT INSTEAD. To me there is nothing wrong with saying I don't like having to do something that is their responsiblity!

I would not go on about, for example, "this makes me so unhappy" or anything like that.

I do not "withdraw" from them. I make my point and we all move on (unlike with my co-worker, whom I will prob remain annyoyed at! LOL).
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#63 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 11:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by monkey's mom
But, we've had plently of playdates with little ones around, and that seems to be a nice "built-in" reason that the kids understand, "We can't leave these Hot Wheels out b/c Baby Kyle could choke on them." They love to help take care of the little kids, so they're happy to oblige.

The little ones try to help, too--putting the Duplos away for example.

The kids who get put into time-out or get scolded for not cleaning up are the first ones to try to get out of it. And I can't really blame them. I try to get out of things that I perceive as unpleasant, too.
With respect, Monkeys Mom, kids act differently in group settings and at play dates than they do in the day to day routine. My kids are very kind to their sister and to other children that they preceive as younger than them. They are happy to oblige sometimes. Putting my kids in time-out or scolding them are not my go-to tools to try and deal with the situation when one wants to be co-operative and the other one doesn't.

Edited to add, I am not taking what you say personally Monkeys Mom I'm just trying to find some advice that is applicable to my situation.
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#64 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 11:38 AM
 
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Just like I would tell ANYONE living in my house(like DH) I will tell my kids that I do not like it when I have asked them to do something that is their responsiblity and I HAD TO DO IT INSTEAD. To me there is nothing wrong with saying I don't like having to do something that is their responsiblity!
Yeah, I don't quite see the problem that some others seem to. I encourage my kids to verbalize when they are angry or sad, whatever. And to verbalize it to the person who has offended them in some way, including me -- my dd has told me that it makes her sad when I talk harshly to her. :

So I think it's completely appropriate to express disapproval of an *action* (or lack thereof), or to describe how that action (or lack) makes you feel. This is different than saying to the child (or anyone), "You make me (angry, sad, happy, etc.)" I can say "It makes me angry when you do that." And later that day: "I love you so much! Even when you do things that make me angry, I still love you." This is completely consistant with how relationships work. I understand that ideally humans could reach a level of consciousness where other's actions have no effect on our emotions, but most folks I know aren't there yet -- certainly not me, and not any children I've ever met! It's good for a child to know that even when he is very angry with his parents or sibling, that doesn't mean it's a forever feeling. And vice vera. The love underpins it all -- always.

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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#65 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 11:44 AM
 
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maya,

I know this isn't always doable, (when it comes to safety etc) but what about not doing something that's someone else's responsibility? If it's my son's responsibility to look after his toys, I am not going to do it for him - it's his responsibility. And if that means when he has friends over he can't access the playroom because it's a disaster and not safe for his friend's younger sister than they don't have access to it. If he wants to play in there with them he can clean it up first. But that's his space and his toys.

This comes up at work when people get mad that they always HAVE to do other people's dishes and it's not their responsibilty. And they're right - it's not - so why do they get stuck in having to be the ones who do it? So what if other people's dishes sit in the kitchen dirty? All that seems to happen is the ones doing the dishes out of an obligation that ins't theirs wind up always angry at it and resentful.

Again letting go of a responsibility that isn't yours is not always doable, but I think in most cases it is.
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#66 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 11:47 AM
 
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luvmy2sweeties, we take the same approach in our home. I like to read No Matter What by Debi Golori (sp?) to my kids on rough days (in addition to telling my kids I love you no matter what you do or say)
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#67 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 11:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nicole lisa
maya,

I know this isn't always doable, (when it comes to safety etc) but what about not doing something that's someone else's responsibility? If it's my son's responsibility to look after his toys, I am not going to do it for him - it's his responsibility. And if that means when he has friends over he can't access the playroom because it's a disaster and not safe for his friend's younger sister than they don't have access to it. If he wants to play in there with them he can clean it up first. But that's his space and his toys.

This comes up at work when people get mad that they always HAVE to do other people's dishes and it's not their responsibilty. And they're right - it's not - so why do they get stuck in having to be the ones who do it? So what if other people's dishes sit in the kitchen dirty? All that seems to happen is the ones doing the dishes out of an obligation that ins't theirs wind up always angry at it and resentful.

Again letting go of a responsibility that isn't yours is not always doable, but I think in most cases it is.
Just like I wouldn't "punish" my clients by letting something that should be done "go" I won't "punish" someone else, like a small child who is a guest in our home, by not having a room that is safe for them.

I also want my home to look neat and clean. And I am not going to let this go.

I have to say, that for us, these methods are very effective. My kids don't want the feeling that they get when they have not met their responsiblities (and I think this "bad" feeling is a good thing. It makes us responsible people).

90 percent of the time, or more, my kids are meeting their responsibilties.
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#68 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaOui
With respect, Monkeys Mom, kids act differently in group settings and at play dates than they do in the day to day routine. My kids are very kind to their sister and to other children that they preceive as younger than them. They are happy to oblige sometimes. Putting my kids in time-out or scolding them are not my go-to tools to try and deal with the situation when one wants to be co-operative and the other one doesn't.

Edited to add, I am not taking what you say personally Monkeys Mom I'm just trying to find some advice that is applicable to my situation.
Just because kids act differently at playdates doesn't negate the method, kwim? If cleaning up is not perceived as a burden and people are looking out for each other, then cleaning up is just a natural part of the day. If it's about *getting* people to cooperate or feeling put-upon by doing the task, then you still might be conveying that the task is burdensome or unpleasant.

If you're at all interested, here's some reading that gave me a new perspective. http://sandradodd.com/chores
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#69 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 04:54 PM
 
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I get what you are saying Monkey's Mom, and there are some days that no matter how optimistic and understanding I am there is one child who cooperates and one that does not. What then? It's one thing if you have an adult that will then clean up or deal, but it's another when it's a four year old that is helping while his three year old brother sits back and watches. The natural consequence of my sons leaving everything out could be my dd choking to death. Also, my ds#2 is severly asthmatic and he is alergic to dust, so as much as I wish cleanliness in my house wasn't a priority, it has to be.

I checked out that link, but I don't really see anything that addresses when one sibling is almost always on board with helping clean up and the other is not. No matter how much positive reinforcement I use, my older ds still is irritated by the dynamic and I really don't blame him.

And as much as I'd like housework and clean up to always be done with a smile on my face, it can be rather challenging when you have three kids 4 and under. It's the ideal, but not the reality. It was the reality when I had two kids and we did not know that ds#2 was alergic to dust.

I'm seriuosly not trying to be snarky, I am just looking for some ideas that have worked with when one sibling wants to be helpful and the other does not.
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#70 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 05:27 PM
 
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I'm just going to throw out some ideas for dealing with some things that have been mentioned. They will not be for everyone I'm sure.

grocery shopping- My almost 5 year old dd really likes going places. We don't have a lot of outings so the grocery store is a treat for her.
If dd is acting up before we even go we will wait until she is in a better mood... or dd stays home with me and dh goes alone... or I leave dd with a babysitter- I do not take dd to the store when she is already having tantrums.
Dd really does know how to act in a store at this point. If dd starts acting up at the store she gets a warning and if she persists we pay for what is in the cart and leave. She has limits and we try to respect them. We might split our shopping list up over a few days so the shopping trips are quicker and less stressful.
We sometimes give dd a job to do at the store. She likes to help push the cart, hold the list, run the calculator or help find items and put them in the cart.
I don't think it would be wrong to make grocery shopping more fun.
Sometimes we play games like "I spy something that is red, do you see something that is red?..." or the same with letters/numbers. That has helped with long waits at the check out line.
We use the car shaped carts at the store sometimes- dd loves riding in them.
Maybe get a stop watch and see how fast you can get through each aisle or the store. Maybe figure out a prize if you beat a certain time or get to the end of your list.
My dd gets to pick out one treat at the store and it is generally at the end of the store or list. If we don't make it to that point or side of the store she doesn't get that treat. Everyone in our family gets to pick one treat item btw so it isn't just her.

wanting children to do things in a certain amount of time-
We set a small kitchen timer and don't nag. When the timer goes off dd knows time is up and it is time to move on to the new activity. We also use the timer when dh and I want some time alone so dd knows when the timer goes off we will be ready to do stuff with her again. It has cut down on interuptions & frustrations for all of us. I used it today when I was doing something and dd was bugging me to read a story to her. She accepts the timer where me just saying 10 minutes or in a minute doesn't work. When the timer went off I kept my word and stopped and read to her.

If my dd dd doesn't want to get her coat/shoes on when it is cold out or get in the car seat or something not negotiable she doesn't go. That may mean she stays home... maybe we all stay home. We try to give her options on most things but everyone in our family must wear a seat belt in the car- it has never been optional for any of us. We don't nag about it. We don't force her into it. We don't have much trouble with the car seat.

Diaper changing- my dd has refused to be changed. She was in pull ups. One day after trying everything I just said "It is your body... I'm not going to chase you, force you or nag you about this anymore- you can choose to use the potty, change your own pants or ask for help... I will help if you ask." It was becomming a power struggle. She went the whole (cold) day with stinky wet pants on. She had to forego sitting on my lap because of it. I really wanted to change her because it was sooo gross to me that it made my skin crawl but it wasn't bothering her. I asked a few times if she wanted help and she said no so I let it go. I asked her towards the end of the day if she was ready for me to help change her pants and she said yes. We did this one more day and since then she was a lot more cooperative about it. The world didn't end if she didn't get her pants changed as much as I would have liked. I wouldn't do it with a baby or very young toddler but if your blood pressure is rising and it is becomming a power struggle with an older toddler/preschooler maybe it is time to step back what you do and let them be more responsible.


Regarding pets- Since dd was a baby we have had a cat. If we saw her pulling fur or tail we would tell her firmly no and show her how to touch the cat. This went along with gentle touches we were teaching her to use with peaple. She was pretty good about it. Around the age 3 or 4 she re-visted picking on the cats. We went through the right way to touch again. When she persisted I had a discussion on how animals are to be treated and if she couldn't do that we would have to find the cats new homes where they would be safe. She was more gentle after that talk.

Hope you figure out what works with your kids.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#71 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 05:44 PM
 
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Mamaoui, I can relate to one child cooperating with clean up while the other does not. It's tough. I have a 5.5 year old and a 3.5 year old, plus the 14 month old who goes along behind us undoing all the cleaning we've just done :LOL For a long time I badgered everyone about cleaning until it got done, but we were all cranky. I have since realized that consistent expectations are important, as is routine (roughly the same chores at the same time each day), but that who actually does what each time isn't worth struggling over, because although I can probably find a way to "force" them to do what I want now there will come a time when I can't-they'll be to old, too big, too clever, too stubborn. Instead there are certain things they are expected to do, and we often phrase it in terms of "it's your responsibility" or "I expect you to...". We make our expectations clear, and we arrange the environment so that each task is easy enough for them to accomplish on their own whenever possible. Then we talk a lot about how much we appreciate what they have done, about how great it is that we all work together. When one cleans up but the other doesn't, we'll simply say to the one who cleaned "I appreciate your help" or something like that and privately speak with the one who didn't help at an opportune time-something like "It really wasn't fair that C had to do it all by herself. I expect you to help next time." Or if I end up doing it myself "I did not like that I had to do your job by myself. Next time I expect you to do it, and if you need help I will help you but I do not want to do it all myself." So far it's working well and since everyone adjusted we haven't had major issues. Sure, sometimes one complains that the other didn't help, and I think that's all part of it and actually helpful-it's an opportunity to help the kids talk about it together ("You could tell G how it felt to have to do it all by yourself" and "G, C is really upset that she had to clean up without your help." and "How could you work it out next time?"). Sure it's a pain when I end up doing it myself in the end, or when only one child helps but for us it's working better than trying to find a way to make each one do their part each time-it's less struggling and more communicating.

Two other things come to mind that have made clean up easier-1) storing away excess toys and organizing what's left out into bins that make clean up very easy and 2) telling the kids exactly what to clean up ("C you pick up the books and G you put away the car track").

Also, what if toys with small chokable parts are only used in one specific room or at a table your youngest can't reach? This is what we did for awhile when my youngest was born. Then clean up was easier because small parts were in one location, and supervision of the baby was easier because small parts were all in one place. Mostly one place anyway
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#72 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 05:45 PM
 
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I read the article and decided to give it a try, because even at nine months preg, my life would be better just doing everything myself than having to nag, threaten and coerce.
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#73 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 06:01 PM
 
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"Also, what if toys with small chokable parts are only used in one specific room or at a table your youngest can't reach? This is what we did for awhile when my youngest was born. Then clean up was easier because small parts were in one location, and supervision of the baby was easier because small parts were all in one place. Mostly one place anyway "

We do that for the most part, but somehow small things end up around anyway

We do the same things that you do, sledge. Ds#1 is consistantly expressing that he is upset that ds#2 rarely wants to help out. He's asking me "Why doesn't Ivan help?" "Why is it just me that helps?" It's really frustrating for him. I don't want to tell ds#1 "Because Ivan doesn't want to" but it's the truth.
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#74 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 06:46 PM
 
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Wow, there are lots of things going on in this thread and lots of different examples and requests. I feel compelled to ask the OP, if she is still here, did you get what you needed? Seems like things have gone pretty far astray since you started this and maybe it hasn't met your need?

I think we need to keep in mind that GD looks different in different families for a lot of very good reasons. GD, to me, means first and foremost respecting your children. And each child is unique and each family is unique. I have found that I've had to change lots of strategries as the children get older. What works at 2 does not work at 5 or 10. What worked when we had 1 child didn't work once we had 2. And so forth. Plus, our children have different temperments and so do we parents. It takes some time and experimentation to find things that work for each unique situation. Which is why its really important to be open to different suggestions here, but also to discard things that don't work for you!

I have also found that most GD solutions take a two-pronged approach. First, you have to deal with what is going on right then. After the immediate situation is over, then you have to circle back and figure out what caused it in the first place and can you avoid similar problems in the future. For example, with fridge kicking (the OP) -- there are two issues here. First is to stop the fridge kicking, which I probably wouldn't do with playing with the child because that does just reward negative behaviour -- After a request to stop, a reason (you could break your foot or the fridge), I would probably shoo the child outside to play where he couldn't hurt anything. But later, if I thought the root cause was lack of attention, then I would circle back once the child had started doing something more acceptible and join in the game or whatever I needed to do to solve the underlying issue. And I would probably make a point of monitoring my attention for the next few days to make sure things were balanced.

OK, now I've lost my own point...
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#75 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 06:52 PM
 
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Oh, Mamaoui, I'm sorry my suggestions were no help. It's so frustrating sometimes trying to teach kids to help out. Sometimes I think it just takes a lot of time for what we teach to sink in. Really, my 3 year old helps in a meaningful way maybe half to 3/4 of the time. The rest of it he either says "I don't want to" or he gets sidetracked and starts playing with something he finds along the way or wanders aimlessly. It just happens because he's only 3, and I expect it to be this way for a while. I spend a fair amount of time explaining that to my 5 year old-"he's just learning" "he's just 3 so he doesn't understand the same way you do" "he'll be better at helping when he grows a little more."

Oh, disaster in the kitchen.
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#76 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 06:55 PM
 
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MamaOui, can you tell your older child that Ivan doesn't want to help and that if he doesn't want to help either he doesn't have to? I'd feel crummy too if I didn't feel like I had a choice. I would definitely stress how much you appreciate his help, though!

But, overall, I'd make cleaning up a fun thing that people might want to do with mommy. Can you make up a special song about the people who are cleaning up--the child opting out might want to be included that way? Make it a game or race? I'm not much on rewards, but I might find a way to make there a prize--even a big goofy hug and kiss with chasing and tickling. I have just noticed such a shift in all of us, when we approach these sorts of chores with gladness instead of dread.

I would really downplay the other child's not helping, "Eh. Ivan just doesn't feel like picking up right now, I guess. Here let's sing a clean up song--what rhymes with 'messy?' Dressy? Plessy? Kalafragalitessy?"
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#77 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 07:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DaednuSO
There's a part of me (and don't get me wrong, I believe in this whole GD business) that can't help but see this as rewarding bad behaviour.

If you have one child and limitless patience I'm sure that playing with, nurturing, etc. your child every minute of every day - that'll work.

What about in circumstances in which you have more than one child? Either you end up neglecting the one to constantly be on the other, the other will get the message that evil = attention, good = ignored and become just as evil, etc.

That's the ONLY drawback I see in this equation - and a very strong argument the wooden spoon brigade can make. I can't really discuss this with anyone not on here because the answer will be "after a few smacks the child WILL listen and settle down - rather than kill yourselves and neglect your other children, and not instilling discipline which isn't good for your child anyway."

So long as a child knows that bad behaviour will be rewarded with attention (and sometimes, with multiple kids, you can't just drop everything for that one child who needs "redirection") why listen? I'm asking for an honest answer to this - it's not a challenge. There's something to this gentle discipline I'm not getting. I see the "gentle" part but not the "discipline". Seems to me to be more about discipline avoidance.


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#78 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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sledge, your post was helpful. I feel like I'm on the right track and I know it will work out, but it's frustrating for my ds#1 right now.

monkey's mom, we do the game/race thing and positive reinforcement. I also let my kids know that part of taking out and playing with things is putting them away when they want to move on to the next thing.

Sorry to hijack the thread. I was hoping this example would be relevant to the OP and previous posters.
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#79 of 80 Old 03-04-2005, 09:01 PM
 
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MamaOui, in your case I would definitely consider giving a reward to someone who helps or taking away a privelege for those that don't.

I have a "cooperation chart" for my DD. It really doesn't promise any type of reward - the "reward" is being able to put a check mark in the box . The chart has things like, "brushed teeth", "got dressed", "put clothes in hamper", "helped clean up", etc. She doesn't get a prize for doing things but she gets to check it off of her chart and that is a big deal to my DD.

I am not into rewards/punishments (as evidenced above) but I think that it is indeed not fair for one child to be consistenly helpful and the other not. I don't think it teaches either one of them a good lesson. I would consider a reward system in your case (although some will argue that it is not really GD, I think it can be) where one earns something for being cooperative (other than a check mark!).

Good luck!
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#80 of 80 Old 03-05-2005, 03:42 PM
 
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mamaoui, maybe you could find some other way for ivan to be helpful? i like monkey's mom's suggestions about making it more fun. that might work with my dd1. i like sledge's suggestions, too.

i don't know if anybody has addressed this, but y'know sometimes we just have different levels of need for neatness. ivan and max might just not be on the same wavelength as far as neatness goes. some kids really do like to pick up and have their stuff neatly arranged and some don't :LOL. little felix ungers and oscar madisons (are y'all all too young to know who i'm talking about? imdb). maybe ivan would like to spray vinegar and water on the sliding glass door and wipe it clean or some other task you can think of. not sure exactly where i'm going with this, but i just wanted to put it out that we're not all the same in terms of things we like to do. dh usually does the dishes and laundry in our house, but i do the sweeping and the bathroom cleaning (when it gets done...: ). maybe you can figure out what clean up tasks the individual kids like best?

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