401 Ways to Get Your Kids to Work at Home is an essential book for busy parents who would like to get their kids to share the housework and who would like a systematic program to ensure that their kids know all the basic living skills by the time they leave home at age eighteen. Among the topics it covers are:-How (and when) to assign and teach specific jobs-How to give positive feedback, incentives, rewards (or punishment)-How to teach your child to organize his or her bedroom-How to teach time and money and basic household skills; handing personal hygiene and clothing needs, cooking, nutrition, and shopping skills; exploring and planning a career-Plus over 400 specific incentive/reward ideas (like charging a nickel for every sock Mom has to pick up)-It works!Whether your kids are toddlers or teenagers, you'll find immediately help and direction in Bonnie and Sue's enthusiastic, supportive advice.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)|
About the Author
Bonnie McCullough is a professional home-manager, lecturer, mother of five, and author of Bonnie's Household Organizer and Bonnie's Household Budget Book.
Sue Monson, mother of four, is a professional teacher with an M.A. in educational psychology. They both live in Lakewood, Colorado.
Read an Excerpt
Setting the Goals
When your children leave home to go out into the world on their own, what home skills will they be able to perform? If you could give each child fifty thousand dollars as he or she departs, would that be as valuable as if they had mastered some basic skills in preparation for adult life: The little things that have to be done every day even if they live to be 103? If young adults know how to clean a house and keep it that way, how to select and cook good food, or how to budget money, then they are released from the extra time it takes to learn these things when time is needed to concentrate on studies, career, or other areas of living.
Consider the case of a twenty-one-year-old girl named Annie who moved to Colorado hoping the dry climate would help clear up a health problem. When she drove up to her new apartment in her little compact car, she had her clothes and six thousand dollars' worth of debts. Her own parents had advised her to buy not a used but a brand-new car, a new sewing machine (she is learning to sew), a new piano (someday she hopes to play), and correspondence art lessons; all of these when her job paid minimum wage. Annie's lack of understanding of nutrition and how to cook soon affected her health. She struggled to read a city map. She had had so little experience in the world that it was easy for someone to take advantage of her. A friend called her from overseas, collect, and talked for twenty minutes. You guessed it! She did not know that collect meant she would pay for the call. All of these problems and a lack of preparation made her very discouraged. Is it possible that many of us are raising Annies?
As parents, if we do not have goals for our children an Annie is possible, and we cannot help them set goals if we have only a vague idea of what we wish them to achieve. You may ask, "Do we as parents have the right to decide on the goals our children should achieve?" Our answer is yes, because once the parent establishes the parameters in which the child can safely act and develop skills for successfully meeting life's challenges, then the child's right to choose comes into play. The child usually does not have the maturity to set goals without these limits. Unfortunately, we usually give more careful planning to a two-week vacation than we do to the training of our children in the basic home living skills. As a parent, there are ways to prepare your child for the Big World whether they are two or twenty-two. During the eighteen years or so a child is in your home, you will be doing lots of things and going many places, so why not get full value from these experiences through goal setting, and plan your activities to provide the maximum instructional benefit for your children? The child's accomplishment of skills will improve self-image and give the confidence on which to build even more skills. Independent children can bounce back from crises and move forward while dependent children are more vulnerable to problems that can ruin their lives. You, the parent, will enjoy many rewards too; your sense of success develops, the workload is shared, and the child will be working with you rather than against you. Setting these goals will create more time for the parent and child to enjoy other things in life.
It is interesting to note that in a survey we took, asking 250 children about working at home, ninety-seven per cent felt they should help. Listen to the reasons they gave.
Children said they should help at home because:
"Then parents won't go nuts trying to do all the work by themselves."
"They make a lot or half of the mess in the house. They also are going to have a house someday, and they need to know how to clean and cook."
"It will be easier to get a job and support yourself."
"It gives you experience, gets you organized, prepares you for later life."
"Children have to learn responsibilities, because if they don't, when they grow up they will be lazy bums."
"Then we get all the work done so we can do the fun things."
"My mom and dad are divorced and my mom has always had a full-time job. Therefore, she needs our help. My sister and I (seventeen and twelve) don't expect her to do both."
"I think it forms good habits when the child becomes an adult."
"It helps Mom and Dad out because they are putting food on your plate."
As parents, we can become aware of methods that help the child see both what needs to be done and ways that create independence. For example, one youthful volleyball captain was so anxious for her team to win, that she began issuing constant commands. When a girl made a mistake, she told that girl exactly what should have been done. "You should hit it with your fist. Move up, you're back too far!" Within ten minutes this novice captain had every girl looking toward her, waiting for instructions before making a move. Some parents do this at home, telling the child each move to make. But we want the child to develop independence as well as obedience. There are seven steps in training independent children and getting them to work at home:
6. incentives and consequences
5. teaching them how
4. assigning the jobs
3. getting together
2. knowing learning seasons
1. setting the goals
The first four are the groundwork done before telling the child to "get to work." The real fun is in teaching the child how to do a task and making up incentives that motivate. The rewards come regularly as the child learns skills and develops self-confidence. Before actually starting to teach, you need to decide where you and your child are going.
If you don't decide on your goals, you'll become like Alice in Wonderland, who was asked by the Cheshire Cat where she wanted "to get to." When Alice answered that she didn't "much care where," he said, "Then it doesn't much matter which way you go."
WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
It does matter which way we are going with our children. To help in goal setting, think how a school system might do it. Many schools have punch-out progress cards that move with the child from grade to grade, showing which skills in math and language arts the child has studied and passed. The list could look very discouraging to a first-grader, but as the child works day after day, concept upon concept, a great many things are learned. Wouldn't it be interesting to see what level your child would be on in "Home Living Skills"?
The following Home Progress Chart has been designed to help define what you hope your own children will have learned before leaving home. The chart is a beginning point and a recording sheet; reduce or expand it to meet your circumstances. Remember that, without being conscious of it, we often forget to teach the youngest child what we taught the older children out of necessity. Also, we neglect to teach boys some household jobs and girls some repair skills, assuming they will have a spouse to handle those omitted areas. But we suggest boys and girls will benefit from learning about both areas. Handicapped children should also learn as many skills as they can possibly master.
Although the chart basically includes household responsibilities, full support should be given to the child's school studies. You might also want to include some marketable skills and provide outside help from other teachers for typing, upholstering, electrical repairs, and the like.
Now go through the chart, deciding which skills you want your children to develop. There are many entries provided, but it may be more beneficial to choose three categories, look those over carefully, and decide on one skill that you would like to teach your child from each category; or you could choose three skills from only one category. If you have several children who are close in age you might work with them as a group, or you can teach one child now and the other children later. Some skills you will only introduce at this point and expect mastery later. Your children are introduced to a skill when they have direct participation in the job through observing others doing it, asking questions about it, or helping with part of it. They have mastery when they can independently complete the task at least three times with success. Remember that the Home Progress Chart is only a guide (not a test) to help you set goals for your family. Some items listed may be unimportant to you and there may be other skills you wish to add. Be flexible and have fun evaluating and dreaming.
HOME PROGRESS CHART
1. Write the child's initials next to the skill you want to teach. There is room for the initials of several children.
2. When the child has mastered the job, place a slash through the initials. [S/M Clean own drawers(6–14)]
3. The numbers printed after each skill represent the earliest age to introduce the skill and the age at which you can expect mastery. Of course, every child is different and you must be flexible with the ages, judging from your own experience, the facilities available, examples of friends and siblings, and the child's confidence and maturity.
4. Use the same chart for both girls and boys because we cannot insure the skills will be needed by only one gender.
Phyllis and her daughter (age ten) looked at the Home Progress Chart together and chose one skill from each of three different categories.
Money Skills Make a checking account deposit Cooking Select and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables Navigation and Auto Ride the city bus
By choosing only three skills to develop, they were not overwhelmed, and could begin meeting the goals immediately. Later in this chapter, we will explain the Three Teaching Elements to help you be very specific about reaching your goals.
Personal Care Skills
_____ Put pajamas away (2–4)
_____ Pick up toys (2–6)
_____ Undress self (2–4)
_____ Comb hair (2–5)
_____ Wash face, hands (2–5)
_____ Brush teeth (2–5)
_____ Tidy up bedroom (2–8)
_____ Dress self (3–6)
_____ Make own bed (3–7)
_____ Clean, trim nails (5–10)
_____ Leave bathroom neat after use (6–10)
_____ Wash and dry own hair (7–10)
_____ Arrange for own haircuts (10–16)
_____ Purchase own grooming supplies (11–18)
Clothing Care Skills
_____ Empty hamper, put dirty clothes in wash area (4–8)
_____ Put away clean clothes (5–9)
_____ Clean own drawers (6–14)
_____ Clean own closet (6–16)
_____ Fold, separate clean laundry (8–16)
_____ Hang clothes for sun drying (8–16)
_____ Fold clothes neatly, without wrinkles (8–16)
_____ Polish shoes (8–18)
_____ Wash clothes in machine (9–16)
_____ Operate electric clothes dryer (9–16)
_____ Clean lint trap and washer filter (10–16)
_____ Shop for clothing (11–18)
_____ Basic spot removal — blood, oil, coffee, tea, soda, etc. (12–18)
_____ Waterproof shoes/boots (12–18)
_____ Iron clothing (12–18)
_____ Hand-wash lingerie or woolens (12–18)
_____ Simple mending — buttons and holes (12–17)
_____ Sort clothes by color, dirt, fabric content (8–18)
_____ Take clothes for dry cleaning
_____ Simple sewing (12–18)
_____ Clear off own place at table (2–5)
_____ Wipe up a spill (3–10)
_____ Dust furniture (3–12)
_____ Set table (3–7)
_____ Clear table (3–13)
_____ Pick up trash in yard (4–10)
_____ Shake area rugs (4–8)
_____ Spot-clean walls (4–12)
_____ Wipe off door frames (4–12)
_____ Clean TV screen and mirrors (4–8)
_____ Feed pets (5–10)
_____ Clean toilet (5–8)
_____ Scour sink and tub (5–12)
_____ Empty wastebaskets (4–10)
_____ Sweep porches, patios, walks (4–10)
_____ Wipe off chairs (6–11)
_____ Know differences and uses of various household cleaners (6–14)
_____ Load and turn on dishwasher (6–12)
_____ Empty dishwasher and put dishes away (6–12)
_____ Wash and dry dishes by hand (6–12)
_____ Clean combs, brushes (6–8)
_____ Clean bathroom (total) (6–12)
_____ Scrub or mop floor (6–13)
_____ Use vacuum cleaner (7–12)
_____ Clean pet cages and bowls (7–13)
_____ Take written telephone messages (7–12)
_____ Use broom, dustpan (8–12)
_____ Vacuum upholstery and drapes (8–14)
_____ Water house plants (8–14)
_____ Water grass (8–14)
_____ Fold blankets neatly (8–14)
_____ Wash car (8–16)
_____ Weed garden (9–13)
_____ Change bed linens (10–13)
_____ Replace light bulbs, understand wattage (10–15)
_____ Clean fireplace (10–15)
_____ Polish silverware (11–15)
_____ Replace fuse or know where breakers are (11–18)
_____ Oil squeaky door (12–18)
_____ Change vacuum belt and bag (12–15)
_____ Trim trees, shrubs (12–18)
_____ Mow lawn (12–16)
_____ Polish wood furniture (14–18)
_____ Wash windows (13–18)
_____ Place long distance calls (13–17)
_____ Place collect calls (13–18)
_____ Unstop a drain with chemicals or plunger (13–18)
_____ Install a lock (14–18)
_____ Change plug on electric cord (14–18)
_____ Scrub down walls (14–18)
_____ Wax a floor (14–18)
_____ Clean bathroom tile (14–18)
_____ Replace faucet washer (15–18)
_____ Use weather and all-purpose caulking (16–18)
_____ Know what to look for in home appliances (16–18) Cooking Skills
_____ Know basic food groups and nutrition (5–14)
_____ Put groceries away (6–16)
_____ Make punch (6–9)
_____ Make a sandwich (6–12)
_____ Cook canned soup (7–12)
_____ Read a recipe (7–12)
_____ Measure properly (7–14)
_____ Make gelatin (7–12)
_____ Pack a cold lunch (7–12)
_____ Boil eggs (7–13)
_____ Scramble eggs (9–13)
_____ Distinguish between good and spoiled foods (10–18)
_____ Bake a cake from a mix (10–14)
_____ Cook frozen, canned vegetables (10–13)
_____ Mix pancakes (10–17)
_____ Read ingredient labels wisely (10–15)
_____ Plan balanced meal (10–15)
_____ Select and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables (10–18)
_____ Bake cookies (10–16)
_____ Bake muffins, biscuits (11–17)
_____ Make tossed salad (11–15)
_____ Make hot beverages (12–16)
_____ Fry hamburger (12–16)
_____ Broil a steak (12–16)
_____ Bake bread (12–17)
_____ Make fruit salad (13–15)
_____ Clean frost-free refrigerator (12–18)
_____ Make casserole (14–18)
_____ Clean oven and stove (15–18)
_____ Carve meat (15–18)
_____ Plan and shop for groceries for a week (15–18)
_____ Defrost refrigerator or freezer (15–18)
_____ Cook a roast (15–18)
_____ Fry a chicken (16–18)
_____ Know monetary denominations; penny, dime, etc. (5–12)
_____ Freedom to use small allowance (5–12)
_____ Make change and count your change (8–11)
_____ Compare quality and prices (8–12)
_____ Make savings or checking account deposit (10–18)
_____ Use a simple budget (12–18)
_____ Return item to store properly (14–18)
_____ Write a check (14–18)
_____ Balance checkbook (14–18)
_____ Understand what household bills must be paid; rent, electricity, water, telephone, etc. (15–18)
_____ Know how to properly use credit card (16–18)
Navigation and Auto Skills
_____ Know address (4–6)
_____ Know phone number (4–6)
_____ Clean interior of car (8–14)
_____ Ride bus or taxi (8–16)
_____ Oil a bicycle (9–14)
_____ Repair bicycle tire (10–15)
_____ Wash car properly (10–17)
_____ Read a map (7–14)
_____ Polish car (12–17)
_____ Fill car with gas (15–18)
_____ Check oil (15–18)
_____ Fill radiator (16–18)
_____ Change flat tire (16–18)
_____ Fill tires with air (16–18)
_____ Drive car (16–18)
_____ Make emergency call such as ambulance, police, fire department (5–12)
_____ Learn to swim (5–14)
_____ Check book out of library (6–10)
_____ Know emergency first-aid procedures (10–18)
_____ Understand uses of medicine and seriousness of overuse (10–18)
_____ Plan a small party (12–18)
_____ Properly hang something on wall (12–18)
_____ Know differences between latex, enamel paint, wood stains, and polyurethane (12–18)
_____ Paint a room (12–18)
_____ Type (14–18)
_____ Change furnace or air conditioner filter (14–18)
_____ Contact landlord with problem and follow through (14–18)
_____ Organize spring house cleaning (15–18)
_____ Clean water heater and if gas, light it (16–18)
_____ Repair wall holes with putty (16–18)
_____ Shampoo carpets (16–18)
_____ Arrange for services such as trash removal or extermination
Excerpted from "401 Ways To Get Your Kids To Work At Home"
Copyright © 1981 Bonnie Runyan McCullough and Susan Walker Monson.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1: Setting the Goals,
2: Knowing the Learning Seasons,
3: Getting the Family Together,
4: Assigning the Job with Charts,
5: Teaching Them How to Work,
6: Giving Positive Feedback,
7: Offering Incentives and Rewards,
8: Providing Logical Consequences,
9: Organizing the Bedroom,
10: Managing Money,
12: 401 Ways to Get Your Child to Work at Home,
APPENDIX A: Helping the Child Get Organized for School,
APPENDIX B: Helping the Child Begin Cooking,
APPENDIX C: Helping the Child Know the Neighborhood and City,
APPENDIX D: Helping the Child Explore and Plan a Career,
Also by Bonnie Runyan McCullough,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I bought this book before I had a child - before I was even married. As a newly employed teacher, I could see there were holes in what I knew about being an adult - and I could see that the curriculum did not have standards that included information that my students (and I) should know. So I bought the book in 1982 - and picked out items to incorporate in my sixth grade and then second grade classroom. My students enjoyed the discussions and exercises - the parents gave me nice feedback too. I worked to fill in the blanks for myself and vowed that my child(ren) would start their adult life with this knowledge so embedded in their lives that they would not ever have to struggle with the day to day things as I did in the beginning. It didn't work out that way - but I still have the book and look at it every once in a while - perhaps with grandchildren. Still this is a great book - and useful to parents and teachers.
What I especially love about this book is the list of age-sorted charts, detailing at exactly what age your child is capable of doing x job. As a first-time mom, this was a very useful thing. And, as the other reviewer says, I actually did use this book before I had children. I found it as a child, in the library, and used it off and on to decide which skills I ought to learn. Ok, there are quite a few, particularly in the automotive/home repair areas, that I'm not sure I've picked up yet. But the point is, it's a useful guide. It's always easier to learn a skill - including home economics related skills - when you know just what it is you ought to be learning.