Powered by WebAds

Friday, May 15, 2009

Shabbat, Who Makes It Happen and How?

I am curious how much other people's families, especially kids, are involved in cleaning and household chores, both during the week and on Erev Shabbat.

I feel like it is very important to involve my kids, but sometimes I feel as if they are the only kids that have chores.

Maybe because I constantly hear "None of my friends do what I do!"

My kids have regular weekday chores which include loading and unloading the dishwashers, cleaning off the table, sweeping the floor, and folding the laundry. They also make their own lunches (because I finally gave up trying to remember what each kid was willing to eat on any given day) and sometimes even dinner (they all know how to make eggs and pasta).

They don't always do their chores in a timely fashion, but that is the goal.

I have also found that having permanent jobs, rather than rotations works better. The idea being that a kid can not procrastinate so long that their chore falls on someone else. Of course, often it still falls on me, but sometimes the system works....

I intent to rotate the permanent jobs, but I am waiting until everyone can do their job well, and without complaining. This is taking much longer than I expected.

For Shabbat, the kids have to sweep and mop, help with peeling and cutting vegetables, and general straightening up. My eldest also does the rice and sometimes makes roasted potatoes.

Jobs are not so evenly distributed, but we try to adapt to the needs and abilities of each of the kids.

My biggest challenge is keeping kids on track on Fridays, and not yelling when it takes MUCH longer than I think it should to do a given chore.

So, what goes on in your home?

How do you keep Fridays pleasant and relaxed?



Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,
RivkA

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi RivkA.
Your kids are probably right in that other kids don't do as much as they do but that doesn't mean those parents are right. You are ABSOLUTELY doing the right thing. My kids are quite a bit younger and I start preparing for Shabbos way after they are asleep Thursday evening and I come from work Friday just in time for a shower and candle lighting.
This is the age that they would enjoy being part of the preparations. I should find a way to take advantage for their eagerness to assist.

My older son does NOTHING and that is my fault. I'm glad he showers before Shabbos.

You are doing your kids and their future spouses a huge favor.

Daria said...

I don't have children ... but it sounds like you have things organized pretty good.

Good job!

Cheryl said...

I'm not Jewish, so I'm unsure of the particulars of Shabbat. But I agree that you are doing the right thing giving chores and responsibility.

My 13 yr old has set chores, he has to take the dogs out 3X a day, scoop the cat's litter boxes 3X a week (mon, wed & fri), mow the lawn, take out trash and recycling and carry the laundry up & down the stairs for me.

We ask and expect him to help in other ways when asked. We give him the "family is a team" speech a lot :)

I have a friend with 8 children. She found that when she rotated chores if a certain kid didn't like a certain chore they would put it off, like you said, until it was time to change and it fell to someone else. So she had each child pick the two chores they hated least and those became their permanent chores. She says now there is little fighting over chores and things are done on time. Of course she has 8 helpers...LOL

Sarah said...

Friday's pleasant and relaxed? Ummm, Valium? It seems like an oxymoron, 'Fridays' with 'pleasant and relaxed'.... We try so hard, but it is a very hard day. My kids have permanent chores: cleaning up the table, sweeping, cleaning the childrens' drawing table, tidying their rooms, and bathing- one of my older boys always bathes (usually together with) the youngest. But, it is a hard day. Pleasant and relaxrd is best achieved if we are invited out both meals, but that doesn't happen much. I have yet to perfect Fridays. It's tradidtionally been the hardest day of the week for me also, tolerance wise. Permanent chores is the way to go, though, I agree. Your kids do do a lot- folding laundry, making lunches and dinner, that's stuff I don't expect from them, but I have live-in help, lets not forget. Everyone has to find their own family's rhythm. You are doing great, as I see it!!

Anonymous said...

RivkA,

I would say my kids do about the same as what you describe. My oldest daughter (age 19) helps a LOT when she's home with anything from folding laundry, washing dishes, cooking or cleaning the bathrooms. My 15 y.o. son helps regularly with heavy lifting things like bringing in groceries, taking out garbage, and gardening. He also packs his own lunch, babysits for his 4 y.o. brother and chips in to help when I ask during the week if he has time. Both he and my 12 y.o. son help out on erev shabbat for about 30 minutes each doing such things as peeling vegetables, laundry, vaccuming, sweeping, mopping. My 4 y.o. helps prepare the shnitzel by dipping in eggs and breadcrumbs, putting away silverware, setting the table, peeling carrots, carrying things to put away in various bedrooms. But he'll only help when he's in the mood.

My older kids also have jobs on shabbat in terms of who serves and clears the table.

I still feel overwhelmed even with this help since there's always so much to do! -ss

Anonymous said...

Here goes-

what i consider "chores" are normally reserved for friday, and each child has a regular job they're responsible for (one does "sponga" in the kitchen, another the living room, one vacuums/straitens the family room, and one does sinks/counters/bins in the bathrooms). this works best so far, but it's not perfect and it's usually (part of) my husband's job to keep at them until it's done and to keep them out of "my space" while i cook for shabbat (which goes a long way to keeping the house more "relaxed" on friday, but everything is relative... :-)
on shabbat they together set and clear the table and are expected to help me serve the food from the kitchen.
during the week, the two older ones usually take out garbage when asked (one of the younger ones is freaked out by the cats who hang around the garbage outside, and the youngest may be getting big enough to handle it, i'm not sure yet).
during the week, they usually make their own sandwiches for school, and may make themselves grilled cheese or microwave some leftovers for whichever meal i'm not cooking (either lunch or dinner). i do the laundry, but they have to put their dirty stuff into the hampers, and they're supposed to take their clean folded stuff and put it away (which is why full baskets of laundry can often be found sitting around for days on end).
cleaning up their rooms is not a regular thing - unless they want to invite a friend to sleep over in which case they have to clean up BEFORE they ask permission.

they stopped with the "but my firends don't do this much", because i know their friends, and some of them do quite a lot more.

if i have to be the one to make sure they actually do their chores, then fridays are anything BUT peaceful, unfortunately. good thing their father is patient...

shavua tov
BW

zahava said...

Rest assured! You can tell Y that at least one other girl exactly her age has chores! As do her two younger brothers. :-)

There is the occasional (or not so occasional) gripe. Usually something along the lines of "Why do I have to put the zeh away? I didn't use it!" To which my usual response is, "Funny, I don't wear your clothes, but I still wash and dry them!"

tzip said...

Well, since my kids are all under the age of 8, I can't quite compare. But I think it's important for them to have responsibilities in the house - I am certainly not e/o's maid (and we can't afford cleaning help) so everyone pitches in. The kids are still young, so they are excited to help and do "adult" work. On Fridays my 7 yr old dd and my 5 yr old ds straighten their rooms - put away toys, clothes, make the beds... They also sort two big loads of clean laundry (I put it away once folded). The two babies (2 and <1) obviously dont help but they just look cute. DD loves cooking, so she makes the chulent (checks the beans, barley. peels the potatoes, though I cut them. dumps it all in the crockpot. she is even learning how to spice it well) she also peels the potatoes for the potato kugel. ds likes forming the meatballs (he wears rubber gloves). he also has a thing that he LOVES cleaning the bathroom.
OK, so all that wasnt to make you jealous :-) just to show that i work my kids and they love it and take pride in their work. that does not mean that my fridays are stress free or that i am not screaming at everyone in sight an hour before candle-lighting. that also does not mean that they consistently are happy to do their jobs. sometimes its a fight and i end up doing some of their jobs. but thats how we try to do it in our home.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Thanks for sharing! It is encouraging to read about what you all manage to do in your homes!


Anon -- "glad he showers before Shabbos." LOL! There are advantages to having a minimalist approach!

Daria -- thanx

Cheryl -- What do you say in your "family is a team" speech?

Sarah -- we are still working on our rhythm!

SS -- how much do your 15 y.o. and 12 y.o. son manage to do in 30 minutes?

BW -- what does your husband do while overseeing the kids?

Zahava -- LOL! I love that line!! I definitely need to adopt it!

Tzip -- it's great that you are starting so young. I wish I had not waited so long to involve my kids. I wonder if the atmosphere might have been different...

RivkA with a capital A said...

Thanks for sharing! It is encouraging to read about what you all manage to do in your homes!


Anon -- "glad he showers before Shabbos." LOL! There are advantages to having a minimalist approach!

Daria -- thanx

Cheryl -- What do you say in your "family is a team" speech?

Sarah -- we are still working on our rhythm!

SS -- how much do your 15 y.o. and 12 y.o. son manage to do in 30 minutes?

BW -- what does your husband do while overseeing the kids?

Zahava -- LOL! I love that line!! I definitely need to adopt it!

Tzip -- it's great that you are starting so young. I wish I had not waited so long to involve my kids. I wonder if the atmosphere might have been different...

Cheryl said...

To sum it up I say something along the lines of: This family is a team and we need to work together for things to go smoothly. We each have our own jobs to do and if one of us slacks off it effects us all. That's okay sometumes, we're here to support and hel each other but we all needto make the effort. The sooner we get this job done the more time we'll have for xy&z...

toby said...

Sorry I only saw this now, but this post was very encouraging to me! Why? Because my kids constantly tell me that they're the only kids they know who have chores... My 12, 10 and 8 year old also make their own lunches, and theoretically take turns with dishes, laundry, and straightening. It doesn't seem so crazy to me, and I have a feeling they'll be glad they know how to do these things when they're older, but I can't tell you that they're thrilled about it now...

Naomi said...

Rivka, I am also struggling with the whole issue of chores. Here is one change we made recently that is working well. In the past we had a rotation for who should wash the dinner dishes. Mom, and two older girls would take turns one after the other. This was getting confusing, so my younger daughter, S, suggested we make a chart of the week and assign each person to certain days, in accordance with their after-school schedules. So now we have a chart that says every Monday R does the dishes, every Tuesday S does the dishes, etc. It seems to be working better.