Summer mornings usually mean sleeping in and lazing around. Most mornings we have no set schedule or deadline to be somewhere. Without a schedule, my girls' tend to get lax on doing their chores. Around here, the girls have chores they have to do because they're part of the family and chores they do to get paid. During the school year, those chores simply become a matter of routine. They have certain times of the day that they do their chores, but when summer rolls around all that structure goes out the window and somehow chores get lost in the process.
Chores are important for our kids. They teach them responsiblity. They teach them life skills. They help them understand what it is to be part of a family. Cleaning up the house becomes a manageable chore when everyone does their part. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor." Chores help our kids work with the rest of the family to accomplish something good.
So, how do we keep getting the chores done without a lot of nagging and scolding in the summer? The last thing I want to do every day in the summer is harp on my kids to do their chores. This summer, we're going to be working on a token system. My girls will earn a token for every day they complete their chore list. The tokens will be good for TV, video games or computer time. No chores, no electronics. And if chores aren't completed by a certain time, it will cost them a token.
Most kids are motivated by rewards. If electronics time doesn't motivate your kids, figure out what will -- an extra helping of dessert, an extra 15 minutes of family read-aloud, a trip to the park. Tie your tokens to those things. You could even have a rewards list where they are saving up their tokens to earn different rewards.
It's a rule in our house that chores must be done without grumbling or complaining. If complaints are heard, then the child doesn't get a token and doesn't get paid. Philippians 2:14-16 says "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, 'children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.'Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life." Make this verse the mantra of doing chores. No grumbling or complaining. It teaches your kids that unpleasant things are part of life and grumbling and complaining about them doesn't make the task any easier and just makes them feel worse.