I have not done a very good job assigning chores etc for my kids since forever. I live by the motto of "it's easier if I just do it myself and it will get done the right way." Now that we are a blended household, I need to get everyone on the same page. I cannot do it all anymore and still have sanity. So I am going to give this pitch at dinner tonight and see if anyone can relate...
Ok team, and yes, I am calling us a team because we are all living under the same roof. We do not have to be related or married to be on the same team. We have to work together to make our home a pleasant and comfortable place to live. When you are on a soccer team (and yes, all 4 of you have played soccer before so you can relate to my examples), you work with your teammates. If someone misses a pass down the field, someone else jumps in and gets the ball. That person does not usually rip the player, who missed, a new one. That person also does not think twice about helping out a teammate. We need to be better about this because I see our team divided or actually in pieces.
Multiple choice questions:
"Hey team member A, could you please empty the dishwasher?"
a. Sure coach, just let me finish this sentence on my homework and I will be right in.
b. I did it last time it's team member C's turn.
c. I have too much homework, I am way too busy.
d. I'll do it later (which means never).
If you do not know, the correct answer is a. If a coach asked you to jump into the game, would you refuse him/her? Would you whine? Would you conveniently forget?
When you remove your dish from the table, do you
a. put it on the counter?
b. put it near the sink, but not in it?
c. in the sink, but not rinsed off?
d. dump your trash, rinse your plate and put it in the dishwasher?
Pick d? You are correct and the perfect team player. Would you enter a soccer game and kick the ball half way to your teammate? Would you throw in a ball to the other team? Soccer or any team sport skills can be applied to our household.
When you are looking for your sweatshirt and you find it in the dryer, do you
a. take out your sweatshirt and close the door leaving the laundry for the next person to fold?
b. empty laundry onto laundry table, take your sweatshirt and go?
c. empty laundry onto laundry table, fold the clothes and take your sweatshirt?
d. empty laundry onto laundry table, fold the clothes, put on your sweatshirt, put the wet clothes in the dryer and a new load in the wash?
Well I would be happy with c but if you did d you would probably be team captain or the coach. I am not sure how many of you are willing to be captain of our team. Just know, d, is what the coaches do all the time and someday when you have your own team, you will do it too.
As your coaches, we need to do a better job training you ,our team, to be exceptional. We do not want a losing record. We need team work, no whiners and a positive team spirit. If you need help on a certain job, then ASK US. We are your coaches, we know how to teach you to be the best you can be.
Here is just one example (it just happens to be the most recent):
When asked to clean the "common room" upstairs, we were met with a 2 day resistance. This did not make your coaches happy. When there is arguing amongst the coaches, the team suffers. Finally the chosen team member went upstairs to "clean" said room.
Chosen team member considered this clean:
One of the coaches went upstairs and took 7 minutes this morning and "re-cleaned". This, alone was found under the couch....
This is the coach's version of clean.
Perhaps the chosen team member has never known what this coach's version of "clean" meant. By using these pictures or by asking a coach to show him/her how to clean, this problem could have been taken care of in less than 15 minutes. However, because the chosen team member did not think that this was his/her mess, there was a lot of whining and "why me?" involved. If your coach asked you to take the ball down the field and score a goal, would you? Or would you whine and say" it's not my turn" or "why do you always ask me?"
On the soccer field, if you are not a team player, you have consequences. You might have to warm the bench or miss a few games. You might get a penalty. If you are not a team player in this house, you will be penalized. Perhaps no phone, no car, EXTRA chores.... Your coaches can be very creative in the consequence department.
So let's all put our hands in and give a commitment to work together. Yes, there will be bumps along the way, but as your coaches, we will do our best to make everything as fair and as smooth as possible. We really like winning and we hope you do, too!