Give my kids chores? I’d rather do them myself

Give my kids chores? I’d rather do them myself

My son’s idea of hanging up his clothes. (Not shown: all the clothes that ended up on the floor.)

Every time I ask my kids to do chores, it almost always results in more work for me. It’s not that they don’t try, they do, just not hard enough. This is the perfect example: Hang up your clean shirts I tell my 11-year-old. Should be a simple enough task, right? But what does he do? Instead of putting his shirts on hangers like a normal person, he slings them over the rod in his closet. And in the process of doing so, he somehow manages to knock other shirts off their hangers and onto the floor. So instead of having a couple shirts to hang up, I now have an entire closet to clean.

What happens when I ask my son to empty the bathroom trash bins? He ends up leaving a trail of dirty tissues from one bathroom to the next. And since he’s too grossed out by the garbage to actually put his precious hand inside any of the bins and clean them out, whatever shit is stuck to the bottom (like the gum he likes to spit out) stays stuck to the bottom of the can. Again, making more work for me.

The Trail of Forgotten Toilet Paper

Clean the countertops? My son does a great job on that front. The countertops are spotless when he finishes with them. But then it’s the floor that needs cleaning. When I ask him how all the crumbs that were on the counter ended up on the floor, he just shrugs.

I’ve tried giving my toddler simple chores to do, like putting away her puzzles. To her credit, she manages to put the pieces away just fine, but mixed up in the wrong boxes, so I’m left to sort them out.

Once, I thought she’d done an amazing job cleaning up her Play-Doh. She lined up all the little containers in a row on her shelf and shut them all tight. I couldn’t believe it. Then, two days later, she starts screaming that someone stole all her Play-Doh. Turns out, all the containers she had so neatly put away were EMPTY. After searching the entire house for nearly an hour, I found a dozen baseball-size chunks of Play-Doh, solid as rocks, under her bed.

Play-Doh baseball, anyone?

Suffice it to say, I’ve had enough of cleaning up after my kids’ “clean-up” jobs. So here’s what I’m going to do about it: From now on, every time my kids do a half-ass job on a chore that I need to do over, I’m charging them for it. Cash money, baby! Of course, I can’t do this with my toddler. Yet. But my son has a whole piggy bank full of birthday, Easter and Christmas money that I could definitely use. I have a feeling that once he’s paying me $2 for every un-emptied trash bin and $1 for every shirt left on the closet floor, his cleaning skills will improve drastically. And if they don’t improve, that’s cool too. I could use the extra cash.






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