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After dinner dishes has always been a time of ups and downs – it is either a great time of fun and enjoying each other or it is a time of snarky blah!  For the first time in about 8 years I have put the after dinner dishes on our chore roster.  Until now everyone just jumped in and did their bit.  Why the change?

I’ve made this change because not everyone pitches in with the same degree of enthusiasm and focus and those who are diligent cover up and carry those who are slack and/or distracted.  Those who are slack get away with it, never having the opportunity to suffer the consequences of their choices.

Those who are diligent don’t like the new set up – they feel that they should work as a team, all pitching in and getting the job done.  And they are right – that is where I’d  like the family to be – but it isn’t, so we are making changes so we can do the training so we can get to where we’d like to be.

Mind you, those who are diligent eventually crack and they don’t like being taken advantage of so they can see my point – they just know it isn’t the best.

Sometimes we have to step back from the best, and find a level that works.  It is at this point that we can begin to teach, train and practice towards that which is best.  While we hang on to our ideals, we never give ourselves the opportunity to train towards change and in reality never have a hope of getting anywhere near where we’d like to be.  We need to be realistic about where our kids are at and meet them there and move on together from that place.

Our Dinner time roster:

Cooks helper (helps me cook the dinner or cooks it themselves) – no after dinner dishes, instead has a shower and tidies their personal areas (desk/bed)

Other chores assigned to the other 3 kids:

  • Wash up – wash all dirty dishes, don’t pull the plug till you check table and benches
  • Dry up / put away
  • Put away all food, clean bench top and stove top

Since we are moving back into a training time another aspect that I need to reign in is that I need to be closer.  The time during the dishes has usually been used for Peter and I to catch up, or for me to catch up with emails and blog reading.  At the moment, I need to be more present during the dishes but because my kids are older, I shouldn’t have to be in the kitchen, but I need to be around and available to intervene if necessary.  I am very aware that when my kids were younger I would have been in the kitchen, right there with them to encourage and correct as they went along.

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