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Discussion Starter #1
So I am on bedrest right now due to high blood pressure (I'm 36 weeks pregnant). We're trying to keep baby girl in there at least another week, so I'm trying very hard to stick to the plan.<br><br>
However, my house is absolutely a wreck because I haven't even been able to do a dish in over a week. I just found out today that my husband's dear grandmother is coming tomorrow to stay with us for 2 weeks and help out- for which I am VERY relieved.<br><br>
However, I realized today just how spoiled and ungrateful my children appear to be. My husband took off work so that he could get the house presentable for his grandmother, and this requires the kids to help a lot because their room is a wreck as well as their stuff all over my living room, etc...<br><br>
Basically they just whined, complained, cried, and muddled through it all and it's been miserable. When I realized the enormity of the task, I offered to play a game called "clean for dollars" (i assign 3 tasks in exchange for $1) . They suddenly perked up and started cleaning, but it's still a HUGE hassle of stalling, whining, and complaining. My point here is that I DO NOT want to raise greedy, selfish children-I would really like to raise compassionate children who can understand and see that mom needs help, and friggin' help instead of being a pain in the ass. They are always like this and I am wondering if anyone has any ideas of what I should expect at this age? Or how I can turn things around?<br><br>
I'm not looking for perfection in the cleaning department, but rather a willingness to pitch in as part of the family, even if it means something as simple as making a sloppy PB&J sandwich for a sick family member or bringing someone a heating pad when their back hurts- KWIM? Compassion and caring! Any ideas?
 

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Personally, I wouldn't attach money to doing housework. It doesn't work that way IRL, so why make that connection, KWIM? I would put together a list of duties/chores/tasks (whatever you want to call them) for each child, stuff they need to do everyday, and stuff to do each day of the week.
 

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I have two boys the same age, and if I were on bedrest I'd expect them to clean up their room and stuff, make their beds, vacuum their bedroom and the hallway, and clean the bathroom (including the cat litter). I'd expect my husband to clean the kitchen and his office. I'd fold the laundry (which my husband always washes) and have the kids put their clothes away as usual.<br><br>
Before school in the morning, each day, the kids make their beds, feed the cats, and put their breakfast dishes in the sink. They are expected to clean their room pretty much daily and to put any of their stuff away as soon as they are done using it in any other room. They don't usually vacuum or clean the bathroom but they both know how to do it.
 

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It looks as though you are asking two questions-- how much help you should expect, AND how much whining and complaining you should expect. I've known plenty of children (and adults) to accomplish an age-appropriate amount of housework, but complaining all the way. Did you specify that this work had to be done without complaining? Or did you just tell them to do the work, but they found a loophole where they could fulfill the letter of your instructions while still annoying you?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did want to add that we don't normally attach payment to housework. This was a pretty big mess and it was imperative that we get it cleaned today, and it was one of those "oh crap, what did i do?" cards that i pulled just to get the job done. typically they are expected to clean up their toys daily from around the house, they clean their rooms on saturdays (which ends up being a big job, but i can't keep up with that mess daily), take dishes to the sink, and keep their bathroom tidy (which they faily miserably at, i've stopped using it because i don't like sitting in pee or stepping on trash). i guess i really suck at enforcing them to clean, because some days are just so busy that we don't get to it, and that's all it takes for the house to get a mess.<br><br>
my main questions are, how do you get your kids to just willingly help when needed, and also what i should expect form a 7yo and a 4yo. The 4yo is honestly the more helpful one- 7yo is really lazy and is quite a slob.
 

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<span>First off--congratulations on the impending baby! And, so sorry about the bed rest! That sucks...<br><br>
I think you can expect A LOT from a 4 & 7 yo, but honestly, now is not going to be the best time to start that training process (which it sounds like you have already figured out)<br><br>
Down the road, when you are on your feet again, you can decide to make training them to be responsible a priority.<br><br>
Whining and complaining isn't even an option. Everyone lives in the house and everyone helps each other take care of it. Your family is a team. They need to do their tasks with a joyful heart. (and it is HARD to set THAT example some days!)<br><br>
I would say start with one thing at a time that you really want them to do, and train them to do it well. Like, say, you simply want the 7 yo to clean up after his/herself. Maybe have a whiteboard of all the stuff s/he leaves lying around, like sock by computer, plate by couch ect, and there is no fun time (free reading, computer time, whatever) until the whiteboard is cleaned off (ie all the stuff picked up).<br><br>
Maybe you want the 4 yo to start emptying the dishwasher. Work with him/her the first few times, showing where everything goes, showing how to dry still wet dishes ect. Help them take pride in their work and reinforce how big of a help it is.<br><br>
Maybe every once in a while give a surprise special treat (small candy, coupon for 15 min on computer, whatever) when you see them doing something of their own volition you've been working on, or working with a joyful heart, or helping w/o being asked.<br><br>
Hope this helps a little! And best of luck.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></span>
 
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