February 5, 2013

There Was Carnage . . .


My computer is acting funny when it comes to pictures. So today I’ve got one whole Experiment photo. Sorry. But, it involves stuffed animals piled up in the hall in a chaotic heap, their faces staring blankly into the distance.

Kind of like my kids when I told them what I’d been doing for the last week.

There was shock. And awe. And a little bit of anger.

Oh well.

I think when I started totaling up numbers (of times beds were made, of times towels were hung, of times dishes were loaded, of times chores were even merely contemplated upon) they got the picture quite clearly.  Zero. Zero times.

We have now reeducated our children on the Division of Labor in our home. Every person has some piece of the work to do so that no one person (me) does it all. This is how a family works together happily and successfully.

It is interesting to note that when we asked the kids what the word division means, they had a hard time not using the word “equally”. We had to correct that quickly. Unlike division at school, division of labor does not necessarily come out equally. Of course The Hubby and I are going to do more work than Owlie or RedDog. We also expect that our two teenagers can shoulder a larger portion of the “burden” than their siblings because they are older, stronger, smarter, get paid more allowance and are closer to leaving us for the real world.

They did not love this idea. They kept going back to it being fair and equal. But that is not the real world. And we are trying to prepare our kids to be successful in the real world.

We also had to have a long discussion about entitlement. We do not owe our kids money. It is something they earn by contributing to our family and home. We live in the “Wealthiest County in the Nation” and the entitlement attitude of the kids in this area is blatantly obvious and blatantly fed, but that is not what we desire for our children.

We want them to know that working hard for something brings results and a sense of ownership that cannot come from being handed it without effort. Real life stuff.

I am happy to report that three Lee children left for school today with their beds made and their lunches self-packed.  Will it last? I think so.

Why, you ask? Because they’ve been told that if they don’t work they can pay their allowance directly into a date fund for me and their dad.

Yep. The Meanest Mom In The World reigns supreme.


Sue said...

Oh, man! I think I'm totally going to steal the date fund idea. Genius!

MelancholySmile said...

Best. Experiment. Ever. Seriously , it's been so fun to follow you through this! I can't wait to do something similar to my kids if/when the need arises. ;)

Aiketa said...

I think you did it so so well in this experiment! And I'm happy to read about this morning!
I think it's a new start at your home! :D

Anonymous said...

Great experiment. Once my mom did a FHE lesson about a house of order. At the time I was in hs and we ate early, so I missed the lesson with everyone else, but got to experience it on my own. She had flipped the table upside down, so I had to eat sitting on the floor, while she taught me the lesson. I think I remember it more than my 4 siblings who got to eat together because I got the lesson on my own.

We, too, live in a very affluent area where there's oodles of entitlement. There are teens who drive more expensive cars that we do. With our children we want them to be self-sufficient and be able to take care of themselves when they leave better than Matt could when he left here to go to college. I've so many friends tell me that I should get a housekeeper rather than fight the kids with the chores, but I won't because I know what it's like to have a spouse who doesn't know how to do chores. I won't let that happen on my watch. At our house they have to pay me their allowances, plus some extra because I'm a really, really expensive.


Stacey Gerlach Moe said...

That is awesome! I love the date night idea!

Tracie Carter said...

You rock! Again!

AllisonK said...

You are wonderful! I love this experiment, but I will have to say that you are not the meanest. We don't even do allowances. Money earning jobs around here.

Heather Lindsey said...

Way to stick to your guns, you rock!

Apis Melliflora said...

My favorite part of the Epic Experiment was how the Hubby fully supported you. The Hubby wins the Gold Medal on that count.

Janie said...

As your experiment was playing out in real life, I did it in my head. I noticed everytime someone did not do their chores, did not put something away, how many dropsies I picked up. Everyone really does need to do their part. I am contemplating an epic real life experiment myself.