Work Before Play Chore of the Day

Momservation: Dishes left in the sink don’t end up needing therapy to function as an adult.

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Blackhawk down!

We are having so much fun wringing every last giggle out of summer that people are literally ending up in stitches. Okay, not stitches, but casts didn’t work with my pun.

Whitney “Play Hard or Go Home” Wheeler had done it again – four casts in four year years:

Year 1: Playground Death Drop (right wrist)

Year 2: Indoor Soccer Skid Out (left wrist)

Year 3: Long Board Ill-Advised Ramp Jump by Brother (left wrist)

Year 4: Buzzardball Basketball Championship Headband at Stake (middle finger left hand)

Whit castAnd in true Whitney fashion, it didn’t keep her down. We still headed off to Auntie Cristi’s houseboat where Whitney tubed, wake surfed, and jumped off the houseboat before we reassessed and decided a swollen, black and blue, hot, throbbing finger might need more than a Walgreen’s splint, ice, and Advil.

But don’t cry for her Argentina; one red cast and a waterproof cast protector and Whitney’s back in summer-fun business!

Last week we went bowling for Fun Wednesday, made Cookie Brownie Surprises from our Pinterest Project Day (yum!!), and offered to take care of vacationing friends’ animals and plants for It’s Not All About You Day. This week we have miniature golf and packing tape postcards cued up among other fun activities.

BUT…as part of the deal for our take-no-prisoners summer the kids and I have an agreement.

In exchange for all this summer fun the kids need to first do some work before they play—getting responsibilities out of the way and earning sponsorship. No whining, no complaining, no hesitation in saying, “Sure, Mom, I’m happy to help.”

I call it Chore of the Day.

I keep it simple—mainly things that help free up my time so that I can play with them. And since they want me to play with them, they’re eager to help. They learn the value of many hands make light work; the sharing of responsibility to benefit all. Work before play, but then play hard and play together.

Here’s a sampling of our Chore of the Day:

  • Pick up the dog poop before friends come swimming.
  • Help with the shopping and putting away of groceries so we have quick and easy snacks and drinks for us and friends.
  • Help sort, fold, and put away laundry.
  • Load or empty the dishwasher.
  • Help start a crockpot dinner.
  • Make breakfast or lunch for everyone not just themselves.
  • Vacuum and wipe down bathrooms.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Water the flowers.
  • Make sure rooms are clean and beds made before sleepovers.
  • Help pack and shop for weekend events.

It’s been so successful as a means to a fun end that the kids are asking “What’s our Chore of the Day?” before I’ve even figured out what it is yet. Sometimes they come up with it themselves!

Children offering to get the mail, walk the dog, and water the flowers with willing eagerness?

I must be hecka fun!

One comment

  1. Grandpa says:

    All “hands” on deck, injured of otherwise, for Summer fun. If you haven’t broken some body part, you haven’t played hard enough. Took the kiddies miniature golfing and was shown no mercy for old age and infirmity. – Grandpa

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