Monday, August 30, 2010

The Writing is on the Wall . . .or How I Stopped Yelling to Get the Kids to Cooperate

There are times when I sound like a broken record.

Pick up your shoes.  Put away that toy!  Please. . . please,( for the love of God,)  lift up the toilet seat before you pee.  If you make a mess, then clean it up!

You get the idea.

I say these phrases or others like it, over and over and over, until I am, quite frankly, sick of saying them. 

Sick of instructing. 
Sick of directing. 
Just plain sick of hearing my own voice.

And honestly, my kids are probably sick of hearing me whine, complain,bitch and moan, order them around incessantly.  They are kids, after all, not recruits for the army, but  I was at my wits end trying to find a solution that would get them up and moving and contributing to the family without making me hoarse in the process.

And then it hit me.

I just would take myself out of the loop.


And, how did I do it, you ask?

Well, I am hear to tell you that this solution is so blatantly stupid, so ridiculously idiotic, that, at first, I was hesitant to try it.  Because surely, surely, an answer this easy could not work.

But, I am here to tell you that it did work.  And it still does!

All I did was assign each kid a chalkboard.  The chalkboard is in a very visible spot in our almost-but-not-quite-finished kitchen remodel. (side note . . . I saw a photo in a magazine somewhere of a wall of differing size chalkboards, and I tried it in our kitchen.  The idea is not new to blog land.  I know Thrifty Decor Chick used a chalkboard in her kitchen awile back, but it is new to me.  I love the chalkboards!  They have been a hit!  It looks cool and the kiddies have fun coloring on the wall while I am busy ordering making dinner. Score!)

When the kids return from school, each kid has a list of things that need to be accomplished before they can do anything that is more fun.  They go through the list one at a time, crossing off chores as they go.

And that's it.

No.  I am not kidding.

I put up a chalkboard.  I listed their chores.  They do them.

Ridiculously stupid, no?!

Yet, for whatever reason, I am not yelling or complaining or repeating myself, and things are getting done.


Share your successes!  What have you done in your home that has been a smashing success?!?

PS  Yes,  this is a little hint of the after pics of my kitchen.  In the pictures you can see part of the island that I created and the lovely granite counter (that I got as a remnant) on top.  Sooooo pretty!!  :)


  1. I hope the novelty lasts :). You may want to consider having a board for you so that they can leave you notes.

    Mom I Need:
    Fieldtrip money.
    Cupcakes for a school party.

  2. What a great idea! And, it's logical - this is what you do before you can...whatever. Nice!

  3. Keeps it all in doing their part and it's fun... great idea... come visit when you can...

  4. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You ~Ron

  5. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You ~Ron

  6. I love this idea, Annie, but now I'm frustrated that my kids can't read yet! LOL! but it's such a cute and simple idea. Now to hurry up and get my girls reading!

  7. So what happens if they just don't do it? Does the chalk board come off the wall and smack them in the a*s?
    Just curious. Neat idea. I guess I can't do this until they can read......or I could draw diagrams until then!

  8. I kind of do the same thing and it works with my 3 yr old and my 6 yr old. I have pictures on index cards of the jobs they have to do in a photo book. They see the picture they do the job, after they do the job they bring me the picture. then they get to pick a treat from the basket. They don't do the job they don't get a treat. They are ubber competitive with eachother so it works. I guess it's easy to bribe a 3 yr old with a sucker.. not so sure it will work with teens...


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