Monday, April 18, 2016

Slaves for Cereal

So guess what, I have had a stroke of genius. I told my children several weeks ago, when I started Whole30, that I would not longer be supplying them with processed junk food or endless bags of sugar cereal. They shrugged and said "yeah right" cause I've made this threat before. So I said "Ok, you may not believe me, but this time I might really mean it, so you've been warned." Well, they have been in mourning. We have no junk in the house. So despite there being plenty of food in the fridge drawers and food on the pantry shelves, there are children in this house who would testify that "there is nothing to eat". I show them the way to where they can find food and nourishment, but it's just, so, meh. So over the past few weeks they've had oatmeal, cream of wheat, toast, bacon for breakfast. And I have had grape nuts and corn flakes available for them too (but perhaps only while they are in transition to this new way of life). There are also snacks of fruit and peanuts, and I'm happy to say they are all still alive, but just barely. I found an MnM that had been left under the couch, along with other evidence of our recent Easter Egg Hunt. Joseph was at the computer, and I put the red MnM next to him. He sighed a gasp of relief ~ "Yes!" I laughed. "Hey, I'm desperate..." So that's how the teenage boys are handling life. We are having a planned dessert on Sunday's also (Sunday is going ot be their favorite day of the week!) Yesterday two children wanted to make it, so we had a combination of crepes with bananas and nutella topped with French toast sticks and powdered sugar. Made me a little sick, but I told them to enjoy it, cause that sugar rush has got to carry them through until next Sunday. The complaining isn't too bad. Some of the kids even enjoy sharing in some of my Whole30 meals. Mel loves coconut lime soup, Wes is a good sport most all the time, Lily loves raisins in her Great Grains cereal, and Owen is the sweet potato king.

Ok, so here is my stroke of genius: The boys that are hungry for their cereal comfort food are also just happen to be the ones that are too busy to clean their room or fold their clothes or help much around the house. So, we're starting a new thing where they have to do three things everyday for a whole 6 days, and should they be successful, they shall be rewarded with a bowl of some sugary cereal on Sunday. Ethan said this is the best idea I've ever had. To think, all these years I've been giving them cereal for free when I could have been milking it for some child labor! I'm not asking much. This is simple and easy, especially if you stay do it everyday. And a little work by each kid goes a long way when there are 7+ of them doing it (Sophi and Natalie get Sunday cereal for free.) Let's look here as our model child, Melodie, shows us how this new system works:
See, just three simple things. 

  • 1) Bed made and bedroom clean. 
  • 2) Any clean laundry folded and clothes looking nice and organized. 
  • 3) Come and ask your mother "What can I do for you?"

Once their initial clean-up of their rooms and closets is done, I dare say that those three tasks should take them less that 15 mintues a day. And I know that they are not so busy that they don't have 15 minutes that they could spare to help around here.
Easy. And this is a little easier than the chore boards that we did a few years ago, cause I have each kid and the whole week one one sheet, conveniently located on a clipboard next to their bedrooms, enabling a quick nightly verification of completed chores.
Ethan didn't do his jobs the first day. But he did have a rough day... found out he didn't make the jr. high ballroom team which he was really hoping for. And SBO elections are coming up and so he's stressed about that too, cause he's 0/1 and hoping not to be 0/2 after the COW next month. Stresses me out a little. Rejection is tough on all kids, but I think Ethan takes it particularly hard. So he was working on his T-shirt tonight and is over getting it printed now at his grandparents' house. Thanks to Joseph for taking him (great having a kid that can drive!) so Corey could finish up work. So I counted that as Joseph's job for me, and I'll ask them tomorrow if they want to earn cereal this week and if they say yes, I'll let them do double duty tomorrow to make up for slacking off on it today. Since it's just the first day, and teenage boys need a little time to get acclimated to doing daily chores. ;)
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