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Archive for November, 2012

The Importance of Chores

November 28th, 2012 - Category: Chores

In today’s society it seems that kids have lots of clothes, lots of expensive gadgets, lots of friends, and lots of fun, but not a lot of chores.  In the past, chores were a part of every child’s life.  Are chores just not as important as they used to be?

Just the opposite.  Now, more than ever, children need to do chores (even when they don’t feel like it).  Today’s culture is eroding good work ethic and replacing it with lazy people.  Let’s look at some of the benefits of having your child do chores.

1.  Chores build their self-esteem.  Doing chores teaches children responsibility and respect.  It gives them a chance to feel important because they are contributing regularly.  They can work hard and look back at the job they have completed and feel a sense of accomplishment.

2.  Chores give them a good work ethic.  Helping out around the house will teach them the importance of a job well done.  In our instant gratification world, children need to learn that some things take work, before you can be satisfied with the results.

3.  Chores teach them the value of keeping things clean and organized.  If they know they will have to wipe off the bathroom countertop, then they will probably think twice before walking away and leaving a blob of toothpaste in the sink.

4.   Chores help develop a sense of family unity.  Everyone is part of the family so everyone gets to help. No one is above anyone else, because everyone has to do them.  Chores set a pattern of helping others.  They have to clean up messes that they didn’t necessarily make themselves.

5.  Chores aid in learning basic housekeeping skills.  We all want our children to grow into contributing members of our society when they are adults.  Learning the basic skills of housekeeping while they are young, will set them on the right path.

6.  Chores balance the family workload.  Too often mom is overburdened and overworked because of the lack of help from other family members with housework.  Down time is needed for fun interaction and relationship building opportunities.

MyJobChart.com can help you as you teach your children the importance of chores.  With our interactive website, kids are excited and encouraged to do their chores.  Set up your child’s chores and manage them with a click of the mouse.  Give them an advantage of a lifetime by letting them help with chores.

Holiday To-Do List

November 20th, 2012 - Category: Organization

If your to-do list for the holidays is anything like mine, I’m sure it’s a long one.  Cutting it down in size, delegating, and planning ahead, can help everyone enjoy the season and the festivities a little more.

Start by downsizing. 

Take a second look at that list and see if there are items on it that you can do without.  Will anyone really notice if the napkins are folded in half, rather than spending hours folding them into a detailed origami turkey?  Maybe a few store bought desserts can be added to fill in the tray of homemade ones?  If having all the kids in matching outfits is really important to you, then by all means, match, but if not, maybe that is something that can be compromised for the sake of having a less stressful day.

Then, prepare ahead.

Be sure to have all of the grocery shopping done before the big day.   Non-perishable items can even be bought weeks before.  Be sure to give your house a deep clean several weeks prior so that just a quick wipe down is needed before guests arrive.   Cook as much ahead of time as possible and freeze it.

Next, delegate.

Guests usually love to contribute to the meal.  Ask them if they have a signature dish they would like to bring, and then that’s one less side for you to worry about.

Enlist the help of your family.   From the oldest to the youngest, there is bound to be something they can all help with.  Offer to pay them for help with chores that are above and beyond their normal responsibilities.  They will probably jump at the opportunity to earn some extra money to buy Christmas gifts for their friends and family.   Here are some ideas of items that you may be able to delegate to younger helpers.

  •             Polish the silverware
  •             Wipe the glasses
  •             Make creative name tags
  •             Babysit while you are cooking
  •             Clean the house beforehand
  •             Help prepare food
  •             Set or clear the table
  •             Wash or dry the dishes
  •             Take or prepare dessert orders

Now, sit back and enjoy the food and the company.

If things still seem a little more stressful than you would like, take a minute to remember what the day is for.  Count the many blessings in your life.  Name them, one by one, and then spend more time with them.

During this holiday season, MyJobChart.com would like to take a minute to thank all of you for your continued support.  We hope that our online job chart is helping you stay a little more organized while teaching your children the value of work and how to manage their money.  We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Becoming A Better Listener

November 13th, 2012 - Category: Communication

What was that?  Oh, you want to become a better listener?  Listening is an important skill that we use all the time.  Unfortunately, research suggests that we only remember 25-50% of what we hear, and that number can decrease by another 25% if the person we are listening to is a child.  Listening better will not only help us understand our children, but it will guide them to become better listeners themselves.  As parents, listening can take a conscious effort that is well worth it.  Here are some tips to remember the next time your children want to talk.

Remove Distractions

Life is all about multi-tasking, except when it comes to listening.  Stop what you are doing, turn toward your child, and give them your full attention to show them respect.

Be Present Mentally

Now that you have gotten rid of all of the external distractions, next get rid of the internal ones.  Clear your mind, focus, and pay attention to what’s being said.  Listen to what is being communicated now, instead of thinking ahead in the conversation or formulating counter arguments.

Let Them Finish

This can be especially hard with a little one that can’t speak well.  It is very tempting to finish their sentence for them.   Instead encourage them with a nod of your head to let them know you are listening and to continue.

Don’t Assume or Judge

Let them tell you their side of every story.  Have an open mind.  If you immediately criticize or judge, then they will stop talking.

Look Behind the Words

Pay attention to their facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, and choice of words to get more out of the conversation.

Ask Questions

Instead of butting in with your comments, use questions to be able to better understand them.  Use questions to gather more information.  Paraphrase to make sure you are hearing what they are meaning to say.

Now, just how can listening relate to kids and chores?   Listening better can improve your ability to influence, persuade, and negotiate.  Listening better can help you avoid conflict and misunderstandings.  Listening better can help you have that extra edge when it comes to kids and chores.   Listen to them, and you may be surprised at what you were missing all along!

If you have any suggestions on how to listen to your children better, or how listening helped with your kids and chores, feel free to share them with us here at MyJobChart.com.  We’re all in this together, and we could all use some encouragement and insight on what works for your family.

Giving Back: Kid-friendly Charities

November 6th, 2012 - Category: Teaching Kids to Give

Teaching a child the importance of giving is as fundamental to their future financial health as teaching them to save. The key is to connect their gifts with a charity that benefits a cause they care about. Soon giving is less of a chore and more of an honor. When thinking about available charities, consider your child’s passions and connect them accordingly.

 Charities for Humanitarians

Water for People works to build a world where all people have access to safe drinking water. If your child connects with other cultures through documentaries, books, or pictures, this is a great way to bring those ideas home.

 

American Red Cross is an emergency relief organization. If your family has ever been caught in the middle of a disaster, or if your child is heavily burdened by constant news coverage of those across the country, this is a great way for them to give back.

CHOICE Humanitarian is dedicated to teaching skills and sharing resources with underprivileged villages to help them break the cycle of poverty. This group is ideal for a child with a heart for helping the less fortunate.

 

United Way mobilizes communities to work towards a common good. This charity is perfect for kids that want to have their money help several humanitarian efforts at one time.

 

Charities to Help Other Kids

Phoenix Children’s Hospital provides healthcare for children and families. This hospital is an excellent connection point for kids who have either had medical issues or who have a desire to go into the medical field.

 

Children’s Miracle Network provides funding to children’s hospitals. If you have an up-and-coming pediatricians, or if your child has had a first-hand experience with a medical condition, this is a great way for them to give back.

 

Operation Smile’s sole purpose is to heal children’s smiles. This is great organization for kids that love smiling, happiness, and allowing their joy to sore. The gift of a healthy smile lasts a lifetime.

 

 

Charities that Connect Passions

One Laptop Per Child empowers children in developing countries by connecting them with laptops. This is an excellent way to help tech-savvy kids share their passion with school-age kids across the globe.

 

American Cancer Society raises money to find a cure for cancer and help those already diagnosed. This charity can be empowering for children who had a first-hand experience with a loved one with cancer.

 

Save the Earth raises environmental awareness. If your child wants to have a direct impact on the environment, this charity helps them do more than conserve energy in their own home.

 

World Bicycle Relief offers independence and livelihood by giving bicycles to those who can benefit from them. This is a great connection for athletic kids who are looking to share their passion.

 

Charities for Animal Lovers

Heifer International provides livestock to help families become self-reliant. This is a great charity for up-and-coming FFA members, animal lovers, or rural kids.

 

Polar Bear Survival Program is dedicated to educating people about the threats against polar bears and to help those in accredited zoos. This is a great charity for those with a passion for endangered species.

The Benefits of Consistency

November 6th, 2012 - Category: Behavior Advice

Consistency is one of the most important factors in successful parenting.  Being consistent teaches children what to expect.  When they know what to expect they can predict what the consequences of their actions or behaviors will be.  When they understand the consequences they tend to think more about their actions or behaviors and make better choices.  And kids making better choices is fundamental in them developing into a responsible and mature adult.

Being consistent is just as important when you are reinforcing good behavior as when you are punishing bad behavior.  When you consistently reinforce good behavior and make a point to notice when your children are cooperating or being nice, then the behavior will happen more often.  Your child should definitely feel that your love is consistent and unconditional.  And when you always follow through with a certain punishment for a negative behavior, then they can count on the consequence, and the behavior will stop.

Inconsistency makes children unsure of themselves and their surroundings.  It makes them confused.  When children are insecure or confused they tend to manipulate the situation or tease others or take advantage of the unclear situation.

It’s about the inevitability of the consequence, not the severity.  Don’t think that the punishment needs to be severe for them to learn a lesson.  If the punishment fits the offense, the most important thing to stop the bad behavior is to be consistent with the punishment.  Being consistent will help them form patterns for them to grow from.

Now, being consistent doesn’t mean that you have to rule with an iron fist and be totally inflexible.  But the key is to make flexibility the exception rather than the rule.

At MyJobChart.com we can help you be more consistent on chores with reminders sent to your email or phone.  Lets face it, being consistent can be hard so every reminder helps.