Welcome! My health problems add craziness to my life. Here I post ideas I've tried, also questions I'm still asking. I have an electrolyte disorder. So I have crazy neuro stuff like complicated migraines, alkalosis, loosing my speech and paralysis. (including legs and hands) Little by little, foods had to go, they affected my brain and immune system. So I avoid like the plague: soy, dairy, gluten, nightshades, and try to avoid refined sugar. My body requires pink salt and electrolytes. I now use a speedy red wheelchair that I love. I've craved a simpler life, but how do you do that with crazy health stuff? I've already had a fire and flood, so I really don't value possessions. I value people and experiences. I am not compensated for any posts, just my opinions.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Extremely flexible chore chart: for children and teens

What do you do when mom's sick and you're trying to keep the house running somewhat smoothly? One or two days is bad enough, but chronic health issues are really hard to keep a house running, while mom feels sick a lot. I tried posting chores, posting schedules, so everyone knew what to expect. Those lists posted weren't looked at very much. I've had picture chore charts, check off lists, and all sorts that looked appealing. But they didn't work for my family. So I made my own. It's visual, because I prefer visual things.

I found in talking with lots of other moms, that my challenges were quite common. I myself like lists, and check things off, but that didn't seem to work so well for everyone. Some have children with varying special needs. Some have anxiety and depression. (mothers and children) Some have frequent migraines, asthma attacks and hives. Some people, there's all or nothing. If you don't cross off everything on the list, you failed. So the next day you don't even feel like trying. Even if your list was way to big to start with. So how to create a balance? What can you do so that when one or two people are having a bad day, the whole house doesn't stop doing their part too? And a list not too overwhelming, so that something can still keep happening? That's the question I kept asking several years. This chore chart I feel can work with all these needs and challenges no matter what type of school you choose, because it's extremely flexibly and customized to each family.

I created this chart, with lots of flexibility in mind. I blocked out my kids names, so you can think of your own. I have 3 children at home so I decided to divide my board in half, than in thirds. On the left is unfinished, on the right is finished. Then we can visually see when things are done. I wrote everything that could possibly be needed from that person. Doing their math work, cello practice, unload dishwasher, etc. I even have the time I want them to start, and if they are at the table ready to start on time, they get to count that magnet. Each thing is written on a circle magnet with a sharpie. I have a few square ones for weekend only things. One thing really important to me was to show progress and accomplishment. So when someone says, "I did nothing, I failed" you can show the board, that all those things were moved over and accomplished. But I also wanted to get away from "everything has to be moved done". The current goal for my house is to move over 12 items daily, then they can count the day completed & have a sticker on a chart. More is better, but 12 is minimal goal. 10 stickers earns something. Like a friend over for several hours on a weekend, going out for ice cream, going to visit a local place they're are interested in, having a movie & treat at home or something more than the usual. I feel these things are still treats, (it is an extra effort on my part) even though most expect they do deserve all these things after long days. When we get close to our 10 days, I call the other friends mom to start checking their calendar and we make sure it happens. So it's do-able motivation.

There's lots of variations you could try. You may say 5 days and do more frequent things, or you may make the number higher and do bigger things. Or if you have one child that it's much harder for them to accomplish things, you can add in things like brush teeth and take shower as counting one of their numbers for the day. Overall the goal is to see daily progress, to give motivation to continue when one or more people are having a bad day in the house, and to have short term goals to look forward too. Each person can move at the pace they need too. And I think this is modeled a little more life-like for households with health challenges. You can accomplish things and if it's a bad day, the board is cleared and you start over again.

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