Thursday, January 3, 2008

Zen and the art of chore chart maintenance

I've heard that the age of eight is a mini "tween"year, when kids are between being little ones and big ones. Sayer is becoming more and more of a "big kid" before our eyes, but our home's "infrastructure" hasn't kept up. Our main new year's resolution involving Sayer is that we usher in his transition from "little boy" to "big kid."

Step One: Say farewell (no more saying "bye-bye," that's little boy talk) to Sayer's train table, wooden train tracks, ineffective toy storage unit and adorable, painted -in-Mexico dragon toddler table and matching chairs. Off they go to the local YWCA, to make room in Sayer's room for a desk, effective storage units from IKEA, and most anticipated by Sayer, our all-in-one foose ball, pool ball ,air hockey table.

Step Two: Increase chores and responsibilities. Since our long-term goal is for Sayer to live independently, we believe that he should learn to be a contributing member of our household. But that isn't as simple as putting up a list of chores and expecting Sayer to do them. We need a "tool" to help. Unfortunately, for parents of kids with disabilities, the tag line for our tools is "Operator needed - requires parental time and brain cells to set up, implement and evaluate."

However, I recently bought I Did My Chores, a tracking chart and system that requires planning and thought to set up initially, but after that it's easy to set up each day. There are downloads on the web site that allow you to customize the chores to your child. It's helpful for all of us for see what Sayer needs to and should be doing. Sayer is able to get the reward thing, although more for smaller items than a big reward down the road. The challenging part for me (or as Sayer would say, "that's a tricky one' ) is that if he doesn't do a chore I can't nag, I just have to let it go. No chore, not token, just breathe.

Happy New Year - here's to growing up!


Sylvie said...

Hi Carol -- the link isn't working for the webpage you mention. Your html may be faulty..

Carol Solow Freedman said...

Hi Sylvie,

I just corrected the link. Thanks for reminding me to double-check when I make a link - especially since I've started to include a list of links on the blog.