Monday, May 7, 2012

Brainstorming and Retail Therapy


Mylie WANTS to do her chores!

It all started with her REFUSING to help.  With pretty much anything.  I thought to myself, "THIS has GOT to change!!!"  So I started brainstorming.  Like on Imagine Movers.

"We need good ideas and we need them now!
So put your heads together and we'll write them down.
There's no bad ideas when we're brainstorming!"

You better believe I sang that song before I got started.  And I included a little retail therapy with that as well.

Hobby Lobby.  Who doesn't love that place?  (Besides my husband.)  So I'm doing what we all like to do, wandering around drooling over everything, and wishing my home looked like this and that and so-and-so's.  Then what to my wandering eyes should appear but a pink-tutued, sparkly-tiared, rosy-cheeked, white, fat and shiny, ballerina PIGGY BANK.   (This is really the one).

And what kid doesn't love a piggy bank chuck full of change?  And what's more, it MATCHED Mylie's room.  So of course I did what any smart-thinking mother would do.  I bought it with my 40% off coupon.  

I know you know what's next.  I bribe my daughter to work for MONEY.  That's right.  I BRIBE.  I learned it from my mom, who learned it from her mom, who probably learned it from her mom and so on.  It can turn into a bad habit.  So if you're not a briber, I suggest you don't get started.

Okay but my daughter is going to be 4 in July, she still doesn't quite grasp money.  On top of that she doesn't see it much.  I'm one of those debit/credit card mom's whose kids will never learn nuthin' 'bout money cuz she never has cash on hand.  No fear, remember what I said earlier.  Kids LOVE piggy banks.  Putting clanking, clinking money in them gives them a great, big, happy thrill.  

But there has to be more.  I can't just say, "Hey, clean up your toys and you can put this nickel in your piggy bank."  So I turned to Google, one of my best friends.  This is all I said to him, "a house of order fhe lesson".  He knew exactly what I was talking about and where to direct me.  Isn't that amazing?!  So this is what I used.  Go ahead.  Click on it.  Best lesson I ever taught.  By the end of it I very literally had squealing, smiles and "I love you, Mommy."

I followed it pretty well, although I moved the "family chore walk" to the beginning of the lesson so we'd have something to work with.  Mylie enjoyed every bit of the lesson.  She loved putting the puzzle together, putting the "can" chores into a bag and trying to lift it, and listening to the story of the "The Little Red Hen."  I told the story and Richie was the voices of the goose, cat and dog.  Mylie got to hold the animals when they talked.  And whaddya know, she answered questions well, she LISTENED, and best of all, she learned!

Next, I surprised her with her very own chore chart.  I didn't use the chart the lesson provided however.  I borrowed a princess potty chart from the internet and created a chore chart from it.  I couldn't live my life without Photoshop anymore.  Here they are:

I told her princesses did chores, then talked in princess voices telling her the 5 chores these particular princesses liked to do.  You know she was smiling.  Three-year olds love princesses and Mylie is no exception.

I laminated her chart and stuck small magnets to the empty boxes. I printed out tiaras, laminated and magnetized them as well.  

Then we surprised her, and boy was she excited, with her PIGGY BANK!  I  wish I had this on video!  It was like I just told her we would be going to Disneyland every day for the rest of her life.  She jumped up and squealed.  She said, "This is SOOOOOO cute!  It's what I've always wanted!"  She hugged it.  And hugged it some more.  

That's when we did a "practice" round of Monday.  We talked each chore through as though she did it.  She got to place a tiara in each square and got a nickel for each chore she completed.  She gleefully put them in her piggy bank, then we counted how many nickels she got.  We also counted together how many nickels she would get if she did all her chores all week.  

Mylie got to bed late.  And guess what she did when we left her room?  She turned on her light and picked up her toys.  She came out and said, "Mommy!  Come look at my room!"  I almost scolded her for being awake still, but instead I went in to see the toys picked up off the floor, ALL on her dresser.  LOL.  Guess we'll have to leave the lesson of "putting toys where they belong" for another day.  Until then, I'M excited about my CHILD being excited about doing her chores.  All for a quarter a day.  And I sincerely hope the excitement lasts longer than a day as well.