Gabe Gab – Creating appropriate chores and following through so he gets them DONE.

I have a 13-year-old daughter whom I do not deserve.  She is an amazing person and is constantly helping Jay and I get things done around the house.  Her monthly iphone bill gets paid for by doing 90% of the laundry and probably 1/2 the vacuuming and picking up the house once a week at least.  She does whatever she can without too much grief.  I think she enjoys our busy fun life and knows that to continue it we need her help.

With ALL that being said…  What do I have Gabe do?  I believe that even though chores are work and most kids don’t like them, they give kids self-worth and a feeling of accomplishment.  So finding the right chores and the right amount for the right kids is very important.  Especially if your child has ADHD or other issues where focusing can be an issue. 

Now that Jay and I have gotten back on our feet financially, we are now couponing and saving for Disney.  The kids know this is 1 1/2 years away but realize that in order to have a vacation of a lifetime, we’ll have to save for what FEELS like a lifetime.   The kids are assigned chores and money is getting deposited into our Disney Account based on that.  This is different from Gabe’s reward system for target behaviors.  I don’t have a set chart or timeline for this.  I leave the chores more off-the-cuff. 

So last Thursday as I was going to kickboxing.   The kiddos were eating dinner and I said.  “I’ll deposit a large chunk of money into the Disney account if you guys get the house all picked-up.   Gabe you HAVE to pick-up your room, make my bed, take care of shoes and pick up the living room.  Abby you pick up the kitchen and do laundry and help Gabe remember his list.”  Both kids went above and beyond where they needed to be.  They know that this trip is going to cost the family around $3000 so if we are saving for 15 months we need $200 a month.  After I made the large deposit, I told them how much $ we needed by the end of the month so they were EXCITED, PROUD, and MOTIVATED to reach the savings goals as a family. 

So what have I learned about getting Gabe to do chores?

  • He needs cueing, encouragement and someone to show him how to do it correctly.  This may need to be several times…  Last Thursday he did a great job, but often he’ll just throw shoes in someone’s closet and I have to tell him…  “It’s not done if it’s not done to best of your ability.  I know you can do better than that, buddy.”  Then he’ll go re-do it.  Or…  he’ll do shoes and start his bedroom and end up playing.  I often have to yell down the hall, “How’s the bedroom coming?”
  • He needs to understand how much Jay and I appreciate what he is doing.  Coming home and saying, “Oh buddy, you did a terrific job!  Because the house is all set, I know can have some cuddle time with you!”  or something like that.
  • He also needs to feel how proud we are of him.  We OPENLY acknowledge his accomplishments to other people.  and tell people how the kids are working and saving $ for Disney.   
  • He needs to feel that he’s getting rewarded in HIS love language which at this time is gifts.  By showing him the savings account, he recognizes that he’s doing something that will get him to Disney World. 

So even though it’s TOUGHER to get Gabe help with chores than our daughter, he NEEDS to be a contributing part of our family and feel his purpose.  So for all the prodding, reminding, explaining that I have to do to GET him to do his chores, it’s all worth it knowing he feels proud of what he’s done!


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