Thursday, March 19, 2009

The New Deal

When our country was in distress from the mess of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated a sequence of programs intended to clean up the situation and bring relief to the people. He called his programs the New Deal.

As I have been looking around my house I have experienced distress from the mess caused by my children. Sometimes this mess leaves me feeling like I am about to enter my own Great Depression. The clutter gets overwhelming and I want to clean it up, but they come in and drop more clutter, and I begin to think, What's the point of trying to keep this place clean???
Sooooo, I have come up with my own New Deal. Yes, I have created a sequence of programs intended to clean up the situation in this house and bring relief to ME the people.
Here's how it works:
I have posted a chart on the wall with which I will keep track of any time I pick up and put away something which belongs to one of my children. And for each check mark one of my children receives on this chart, they will owe me five minutes of work. Any kind of work I choose.
If I take care of something and I don't know who is the originator of the mess (like a dirty dish left on the coffee table), all three of them will get a check mark!
And when I decide there are enough check marks to redeem, I get to put my child(ren) to work so they can pay me back for taking care of their things.

We have only been doing this for a few days, and I'm telling you - it is working wonderfully. We cleaned the house Sunday to get this program started, and it's still clean!
I love it. My kids don't like to "work" and I am able to capitalize on their dislike of work to get them to take care of their stuff. The thing is, they're working by putting their stuff away, but they think they're getting out of work. I love mind games! *grin*
And this is only Phase One of my New Deal. Phase Two will involve the counter tops in the kitchen. When everyone is good with putting their own stuff away, I am going to institute check marks on the chart for any time I have to wipe someone else's crumbs off the counter. That'll be nice.
And, I am seeing another benefit of my New Deal. Since the kids will be affected by someone else leaving a dish or other item sitting out, I intend to help them see the benefit of taking care of things laying around - even if it isn't "your" thing. Certainly, picking up and rinsing someone else's dish will be less painful than five minutes of labor assigned by Mom!

Yes, I am proud of my New Deal. Looking around at a clutter-free room makes me feel peaceful. And knowing I don't need to nag my kids to get it to stay this way does wonders for my heart!

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Jessica Nelson said...

That's hilarious!! I love how you said the mess makes you want to go into a Great Depression. LOL That's totally me.
Good luck with this Deal!

Leah Adams said...

What a hoot!! I wonder if it would work with my husband????? Hmm, no I don't think it would. Better not even try it.


luvmy4sons said...

Anytime you find a sytstem that works who hoo! Great big slap on the back for you! Hope it keeps up! Awesome!

Larie Carlice Proverbs 27:19 said...

That's a pretty good concept Karen!


Tana said...

Good luck with your new deal. I have four, five if you count my husband (I should probably be counted too *sigh*) I'll be tracking your progress ;)

Melanie said...

Impressive! Keep us posted on how it plays as I need a New Deal en mi casa!

Stacey said...

Ooooh, I'm likin' this New Deal of yours!! Is it okay if your New Deal becomes my New Deal too??? Having 4 children (and a husband) means constant clutter, and I'm always feeling like I never get ahead with the cleaning. I think I might give it a try ;)

Anonymous said...

The beginning of this post made me laugh! After reading the whole thing, wow, you are really on to something!! I might have to "borrow" your New Deal! ;)


Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

I'm gonna call you Rosie...not really, but you are so very smart

Anonymous said...

That sounds awesome. Is your husband on the chart too ;)? I think I'm going to try it... and see how long it succeeds.

Cindy said...

I love this system. I would have love to have had this when mine were little.

Amanda said...

This is a great idea!! Your kids are going to be self sufficient cleaning professionals in no time! Wanna come over and teach mine??

God bless-