Cleaning is a Family Game
The chore struggle
I have three little diva’s. When I refer to them as “lil diva’s” people always think that they are temperamental entitled little girls. When I am referring to my diva’s I think of them as divine, inspired, virtuous, anointed little girls that are being molded to be a powerful witness’ for God. But they can also be very temperamental especially when it comes to cleaning chores around the house. The attitude that I get when I ask if their room is clean or the living room is vacuumed could be considered “diva”.
Techniques used in the past
I have tried several different strategies to make chores enjoyable in my house and less of a fight. We believe in grace based parenting but there is so much grace you can show for a poorly executed chore time and time again. I have charged a variety of strategies, the chore chart. It started off well the first week and by week 3 and 4 there was little to know pleasure from receiving a gold star for a job well done. Then we tried the chore sticks. It was like a lottery choice for the lil divas. A variety of chores written on a Popsicle stick placed in a jar. They would choose there chore for the day and once it was completed would received a check mark. Once they accrued enough check marks they earned there allowance or reward. I thought the spontaneity of chores and not being responsible for the same chore week after week would add some more fun to chores. That lasted for a moment. My husband and I are trying very hard not to add to the entitled generation that is becoming an epidemic. Showing grace and creating standards of excellence all at the same time. This parenting stuff really does get harder as they get older. Its so much easier raising my toddler than it is my tween and eight year old. But, apparently part of bringing them home from the hospital was that I was responsible to create positive contributions to society.
I recently got to try out a very cool app, called Homey App, that has created a new and refreshing approach of assigning chores and completing them. This app allows my husband I to be on the same page with chore assignment. It also allows him to help manage our children’s completion of chores while he is away at work. This is very important because honestly I sometimes get tired of always being the bad guy. Being virtual has other perks too. When I was away a few weeks ago, my husband was a little perplexed on how I wanted something done. I could keep track of my oldest daughters diligence all from my phone. After a few attempts she was able to receive her point. That’s how this work on a point system.
Why the Homey App works for us
This cool new way of chore management, the Homey app. It makes chores competitive which my family is highly competitive. My husband is a basketball coach. I am a former all star cheerleader and softball player. And my oldest is into field hockey and lacrosse. So we are very motivated by friendly competition. There are multiple reasons that the Homey app is going to work for our family.
First, there are scores and our competitive nature that is a motivator in itself.
Second, we can all be on the same page. You take a picture of the chore to be done and then the person who is assigned will then take a picture once completed. This is great for my husband and I because my definition of clean and his is quite different. So, the girls send me the picture of the completed chore to receive the “reward.”My girls are at an age where they get allowance. The allowance is to teach them money management. Stickers and treats are also not as strong motivators as dollars and cents.
Another, great thing is that I can schedule chores in advance. I am a planner addict and nothing gives me more satisfaction than prepping and preparing for things to come. I like that I can schedule the chores a week in advance (or more) and then not have to worry about the daily nag of “Is this done yet?” No picture, no allowance and when it comes to chores there is no grace. If they were working in the real work there would be no pay and no grace in termination so somethings we have to be strict about it. Since I am the household manager the way my household is operated is similar to an employer.
It has been fun working with this app so far. I actually think this is something that can last for our family. My eight year old recently received a tablet for her eight birthday. She will be added to the Homey app as a family member too.
How it works?
Which is how it works: You (the parent) create a household name and password. Then you invite your family members to join. They will receive a link, qr code or you can do it old school and give them the Household name and password to search for. They then get setup with a profile. Basic stuff name, picture (we used Avatars for everyone) and password. Once that is all set up then you (the parent) can start assigning chores and value. You can do that two ways: use a preexisting picture or description or create your own. You can take a picture of their messy room and create as detailed of a description of what you expect from them to complete the chore.
A little tip: if the chore is multi-faceted for instance my daughters room. I wanted the room and her closet organized. That I did two separate task because only one picture can be taken to complete the task.
Once they feel it is done they take a picture. Then they receive the point. I did have a slight problem with this aspect. I wish that the chore could be approved before they received the point. Just because they think they did a good job doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good job. I overcame this a couple weeks ago by deleting the task and reassigning it. Homey app is still working on this and I made a suggestion for this change. Also, I like that you can reassign the task once its completed. So, you don’t have to start over you just reassign it for a future date. All in all it has been interesting taking our chore management virtually I think for my kids its more relateable. For me, the more I work with it the more I find its saves on management and time. It has also included my husband and he typically checks on it with his train commute home. What do you think about managing your household chores with an app? Is your family ready to take your chore chart virtual?