Family Night! And another chores discussion.

Alternative title: “Expectations”

No one took me up on my offer to clean poopie bottoms (1000!!!), so we suffered through another chores discussion. Here’s what we came up with.

Expectations for Saturday:
Breakfast together (How fun is that? T wants to have breakfast together!)
1 reminder (no more) no later than end of breakfast. If none given by the end of breakfast, no reminder. (No nagging!)
Chores are to be completed by noon on Saturday. If not, and no prior agreement, the list gets longer.
If chores not done by noon, T will be told “list is getting longer”. When chores are complete, then told what new items have been added. (Parental discretion required here. If it’s 5pm before we say “Hey!” then so be it. Regardless, we get to decide what’s on the penalty list.) If chores are not done by the end of the weekend, DRILL SERGEANT kicks in. This means 6a.m. call to duty every day of the week until chores are done.

Chores (What it’s all about):
Both bathrooms clean: all surfaces sparkle (in the event additional chemicals are needed, notify Mom), towels hung neatly, sink, tub, toilet, floor (There was some discussion about Jim cleaning the “downstairs” aka “common” or “shared” bathroom at least once a month, but I don’t think this was settled.)
Vacuum upstairs: gameroom
Vacuum downstairs: Living room, dining room, family room. Dust and clean up in family room.
Laundry done (washed, dried, folded, put away) by 10pm Sunday CST
1 meal per week (assuming Dad gets the ingredients) (This is the only new item, and T volunteered!)

For housecleaning chores, T must let us know when chores are completed. (This prevents me from chiming in with *helpful* feedback prior to chore completion.)

For extra $: Vacuum and dust offices (upstairs/downstairs)
Dust front rooms, clean leather, wood polish
Kitchen counter and/or floors (sweep/mop)
Cook 2nd meal during week
Wash vehicle

No lecturing during family night.

Tonight’s conversation went well. We worked this list out together (minus hubby’s 15 minute distraction phone call during negotiations). T thinks typing it up is weird and begged me not to a) print it and post it on refrigerator or b) put it in his “mail”. I told him it was going on the blog. I’m not sure if he believed me.

From 1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home (Or Else They’ll Come Back): 9) They should know to persevere in the face of disappointment. 13) They should know life isn’t fair. And be grateful for that. 14) They should know things are rarely as good or as bad as they seem. 16) They should know life isn’t about avoiding struggles, but overcoming them. 20) They should know the world is filled with unreasonable people. And they may work for one of them.

Or … one of them may be a parent. 😉

and then we played on the Wii for an hour….

Too much? Let me know your thoughts.


Do’s and Dont’s

I’ve learned a lot in the last 22 years of parenting. Some of what I’ve learned is what NOT to do. Since I’m still in the business (my youngest is 14). I’m hoping to get help from the parents who visit this blog. Here are a couple of items that have been on my mind. I hope to hear some feedback.


  1. Make your children pick up after themselves.
  2. Leave “love notes” or other messages for your children to show your affection.
  3. Stick to your word, including delivering on any “threats” of punishment.
  4. Assign household chores and expect these to be completed in a timely fashion (regardless of attitude).


  1. Make your children clean their rooms. (Do leave them some territory to learn on their own, such as the benefit of putting things away).
  2. Constantly badger and nag your kids.
  3. Threaten things you can’t deliver on (like “You’re never going to bake another cake if you don’t clean this mess up!”)
  4. Make chores arduous or unreasonable for the age (and don’t expect the attitude to always be ideal).

That’s enough for now. What are your thoughts?