More Help with Chores


2nd Follow-Up for Trinity

Thank you again, Trinity. Your advice is very helpful!

1. The reason I allowed my five-year-old daughter a couple of toys is because John suggested that in his response to a question I submitted in November of last year. If she loses all of her boxes in the morning, should I expect that she sits in her room all day relatively calmly (except for meal times) without anything to play with? I completely understand the “lowering the boom” impact that would have since it would be very boring, but I want to make sure my expectations are reasonable. I am concerned that if I strip her room of all toys, clothes, and furniture, it would be much more of a burden on me to figure out where to put her furniture in our small rented house and having it in the way of everything than it would be on her. I’ve tried that before but she pulled up the carpet (damaging it) and sneaked out of her room to throw all the contents of the adjacent linen closet on the floor.

2. What if my daughter loses all her boxes in the morning and we aren’t going to be home that afternoon for her to sit in her room? There wouldn’t be any consequence for her actions since it's not carried over to the next day. John often mentions in his books and CDs that the older a child gets, the more time we have in which to give a consequence. We may need to discipline a two-year-old immediately after a misbehavior for him to make the connection, but we may have four or more days in which we can discipline a 7-year-old. For example: "No Johnny, you can't go outside to play with your friend. You didn't put your toys away when I told you to last weekend." How can I harmonize these two approaches?

3. If one of my children loses all of his/her boxes and is confined to the room for the day and I can’t carry the chores to the next day, who does the chores? I certainly don’t want to “relieve” them of their chores but the reality is, the chores need to be done in order for the household to run properly. If their chore is “empty the dishwasher” or “clear the table” and they don’t do it, I can’t let the dishwasher sit there full of dishes. What’s the best way to handle that?

5. How should I manage chores/jobs that come up throughout the day? For instance, I went grocery shopping and I need one of the kids to empty the bags and wash the produce so I can get dinner started. Or, we just washed a load of rags and need someone to fold them. Should I set the timer and use the chart?

I’m truly grateful for your assistance.

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