our take on the "chore chart" with young children

Wednesday, September 28

I recently started this new thing with my kids, that I decided to formally dub as the "I did it" jars. Not necessarily a chore system, but something to motivate and reward for contributing to our home and family. I've had great experiences using positive reinforcement when it comes to motivating Everett in the past. i.e. when he's exhibiting behavior that needs to change, I'll recall a time when he was exhibiting the correct behavior, and vocally recognize and praise him for it in that moment. I'm obviously not perfect at this, and don't do it every time I'm trying to correct him, but whenever I DO use this technique, almost without fail, his behavior changes on the spot to match what I was praising him for. It's STUNNING how well it works!
So that's what I wanted to use these jars for. Stuff like getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating his dinner all gone, cleaning up after his own toys, etc, don't count for the jar, since I want those things done out of habit. But things like helping me take in groceries from the car, helping load the dishwasher, dusting, etc. Just recognizing the contributions that aren't a part of his regular responsibilities. I mean, he's at the age where he's thrilled to do all this stuff whether he gets to put a cotton ball in a jar or not. But he's also at the age where he loooooves himself a new lego set, so it's nice to have something that allows him to work towards what he wants and be responsible for it. (Also it takes a while to fill those jars up.) Isla's obviously too young to REALLY participate, but she basically does whatever Everett is doing, so she gets a jar too. :)
One of their favorite activities to do together is help me load the dishwasher. And that's another reason why it takes forever for their jars to fill up haha. Cause it's SO much easier to just do everything myself! But when I ask them if they'd like to help me in the kitchen, or with cleaning the bathroom, they come bounding in from the other room, like, basically shouting for joy. So. I will take what I can get during this, their fleeting, enthusiastic youth.
 Everett's favorite favorite faaaavorite thing to do is clean all our mirrors. And he's actually really good at it too! Very thorough.
So I'm obviously so thrilled that he can do this himself, while having peace of mind about the product he's using to do so. 
These right here are my dream team. Whether I was blogging about Seventh Generation or not, I'd be using them in my home daily, cause they really truly get the job done.
The Glass + Surface cleaner is a non-toxic, fume free, plant based formula, so I feel totally comfortable handing the bottle over to Everett to clean ALL the mirrors his heart desires. Both the All Purpose Cleaner and Tub+Tile Cleaner are non-toxic, fume-free, and biodegradable AND actually clean powerfully. #legit
They've both almost filled their jars all the way up. Everett's decided that he wants to use his for a one-on-one date to get more Legos and pick out his costume and also get some ice cream. He dreams big haha.
 Love these sweet helpers of mine.

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