I'm not really a "mommy blogger" though I am a mom who blogs. And I think it's cool when people share little tips on how to do things when you're in that season of life. It's just not particularly what I'm interested in doing. Until now. Because I thought of one.

There are a few things I do that work well that I think could be of some interest to fellow moms of young kids. And I'll throw one out there tonight for kicks. Macy and I do chores very well. She and I have the exact same temperament (except that she's disorganized) so while that can cause difficulties in certain situations, it also creates a lot of harmony in others. Anything to do with planning and being a perfectionist, as long as I don't try to be in control of it, turns out to be a great shared venture for us. 

One of the things I'm working hard on as a mother is teaching my children the idea of consent. This obviously applies directly to anything relating to their bodies. But in this case, I think it applies indirectly as well. People always ask me how I "get" Macy to do her chores. I don't have to. And the reason why is because she agrees to her chores based on a conversation we have every fall and every summer (we change up the chores for school year and summer - longer ones in the summer!) We both make lists of things she'd like to learn or prefers to do along with what I would prefer for her to do or what I would like to teach her that season. Sometimes she chooses chores that I get really excited about teaching her (laundry - she does the entire households once a week now) and other times she selects something that she likes but isn't particularly helpful or interesting to me (dusting). She has one chore a day Monday thru Friday. The idea is to vary it so that by the time she moves out, she's capable of fully caring for herself. And in the meantime, we're teaching her about what it means to be a part of a family: we contribute to the household, we clean up after ourselves, we do things we don't want to do sometimes. 

This afternoon, I needed a pick-me-up so I started watching Julie and Julia (I needed a quirky story about process that ends up great in the end) and later when Macy came home from her play date, I asked her if one day a week this school year she'd be interested in learning to cook something rather than working on cleaning something. She was thrilled. We both started making lists (mainly full of sweets, naturally) and ended up making chocolate pudding tonight because we couldn't help ourselves (I'm currently eating it for dinner...yum). So I guess if I have a "mommy blogger" hat on and I'm giving a succinct tip it is this: let your kid have a say in how they contribute to the family. Have an actual conversation, with give and take, write it down and post it to see both for reminders and accountability. And then schedule it in your daily routine. So it's never a question of if it will happen, but that it's a certain day, so this is the certain chore that is needed. 

If you have to have a consequence, we do not link allowance with chores because I don't get paid to clean and neither does Tim. We clean because it's part of living in a home. But, if a chore is not done by 7pm, she loses the chance to do it that night and has to do it the following day along with the next chore. She also has to pay me a late fee of 50 cents. The idea is that chores don't go away even when you skip them. It's ok to skip them on occasion, but just know that means you'll have more to do later. The other thing we do with chores and consent is that she chooses when she does them (any time before the deadline). This keeps nagging to a minimum. And if gives her authority to learn how to budget her time and balance her needs. She cannot do an undesired task right when she walks in from school. She needs to decompress. These are the things you learn about your kiddo. Now, each kid is totally different and even getting a lot of say in their chores does not ensure peace. But it's always nice to know when something is working for someone, it might work at your house too. 

And I'm sure it goes without saying that when a child is being taught a new skill, it requires one-on-one training. Teaching Macy sorting, loading and unloading machines, knowing what temperature the water should be based on the type of laundry you're doing, etc took awhile. Now, I do nothing. Except fold. That was one of my goals this summer that we only worked on one week. Maybe that'll be one she agrees to for the fall. I'm not betting on it though.