Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Manly, Independent Boys

I know my boys are only 8 and 5 and 2 (and a half!) and (just a few days from) 1; but I often reflect on the fact that they are men. Little men, true. But men nonetheless. At least, they will be, in a few years that will speed by like greased lightning. What they do now has a direct and strong impact on who they will be then.

All of that to say this: it was high time to revise the boys' job charts. For several years, Josiah and David have had chores for which they are responsible; but I've talked with them a number of times about how, as they grow older, their responsibilities will change and increase (and so will their privileges!). As this past school year ended and the summer began, I knew I needed to help them make the leap to the next level and add a few more obligations to their daily activities; but I had put it off and put it off. Finally, I did it; and the funny, surprising thing is that they loved it! I had forgotten this, but apparently they get a lot of security from knowing what is expected of them and seeing it written down in black and white so they can see what they've accomplished and what they still need to do--a much better system than me always telling them what to do. I'm sure they got tired of hearing me speak up in that "I have a job for you to do" tone of voice. Much nicer to have their lists of routines, that hang on the side of the refrigerator, do the work for me. :)
Here is what David is responsible for at this stage of life...

Morning Routine:
1. Get dressed
2. Make bed
3. Open blinds in bedroom
4. Brush teeth
5. Eat breakfast
6. Swish toilet upstairs
7. Empty dishwasher (silverware and plastics)

Afternoon Routine:
1. Set table

Before Bed Routine:
1. Room Rescue in bedroom
2. Change into pajamas
3. Brush teeth

And for Josiah...

Morning Routine:
1. Get dressed
2. Make bed
3. Brush teeth
4. Read devotional
5. Eat breakfast
6. Swish toilet downstairs

Afternoon Routine:
1. Take out recycling
2. Practice piano (and this will also say "violin" when lessons start up in the fall)
3. Set table

Before Bed Routine:
1. Room Rescue in bedroom
2. Change into pajamas
3. Brush teeth

Josiah also has special jobs to do each day (it's part of that grow-up-and-have-to-do-more-work thing)... :)

Weekly Routine:
Monday - Sweep front walk
Tuesday - Sweep porch
Wednesday - Sweep patio
Thursday - Take trash out
Friday - Dust bedroom
Saturday - Clean mirror in hall

In addition, although I didn't write it on his chart, Josiah feeds our animals daily, a special job for which we pay him $1 a week. (And that, is a dollar well spent, let me tell ya! I appreciate what he does so much that I'd pay him twice or even three times that amount...but don't tell him that.) :)

If you're familiar with FlyLady, you'll see that much of this is inspired by her. "Room Rescue," "swishing a toilet," "Before Bed Routine," - yep, this is straight from her. I'm so glad that my boys get to learn some wonderful habits while they're still so young. When I gave them their new job charts, I had a little talk with them about all of this; and one thing I said was that their future wives, college roommates, or whoever are going to be so happy that they know how to do these things and have made them part of the routine of their lives. It's fun to talk with the boys about their future; they usually get funny little looks of happiness and excitement on their faces when we discuss such things. :)

Another thing that's funny is that "everybody" thinks, "Eeeew, yuck. I don't want to clean a toilet." But Josiah and David think that swishing the toilet is one of the most fun jobs they have! And when you do it every day, the FlyLady way, it really is, because there's never any build-up of yuckiness. :)

I'll start accepting applications from potential wives for my sons very soon. :)

I started this post thinking about going in one direction with it, but then ended up going in another. Back to my original thoughts...

I ran across an interesting passage from a book published in 1889. It's How to Study, A Guide for Pupils' Self Improvement in School and Home by W. A. Welch; and the quote is included in Lorraine Curry's book Easy Homeschooling Companion.
That which makes noble, independent men is of the same stuff that makes manly independent boys: To work and struggle through hardships and privations, knowing in one's secret heart that these are angels in disguise; to bravely, nobly, joyfully fight life's battles as they come; to inhale, like bracing air, the inspiration of a purpose enthroned in the soul; and finally, in the fullness of manhood, to gradually emerge from creek and shoal, free and independent, out upon the high seas of life, with your craft, small but seaworthy, your iron will for a rudder to which it readily responds; your mature judgement for a compass; your horizon of possibility broad as the curves of the earth; your freedom only limited by the shores of the ocean; what inspiration in the thought! what effort it is not worth! Truly, it is a great thing to be a man!
And I'll add, "Truly, it is a great thing to have sons!" :)


Stacey said...

I just started my FLY Lady routines and what a difference it is making in my life in just 1 week. I was floundering, I had no direction and I was overwhelmed. How did I get to this place. I needed some serious focus. Thanks to fly lady I now have that. I may not get all of my routines down every single day but I get most of it done and I have so much more motivation. My kids are trading off between the toilet and the sink, the swish and the swipe. and they also help out with the weekly home blessing hour. I think all kids should be trained this way! I know my son's future wife is going to be surprised that he wants the toilet swished every day. But that day is far off, for now I will train him in swishing among other things...

Elizabeth said...

Such an inspiring post! Well, I am always inspired when I come over here :) I loved the quote at the end!

I was looking at the conference you all are attending and saw that Ken Ham is one of the speakers! I grew up loving to hear him speak! Can't wait to hear more about that! :D

Much love Davene :)

P.S. thank you for the Happy Birthday wish!

Mike and Katie said...

I just checked out FLY lady's site. While I am laughing about the possibility of ever getting some of that stuff done o a regular basis, I like that she keeps remind us to do things ib baby steps and not get discouraged and give up.

Sally said...

Hannah will send in her application for Tobin (so she says, per my TTT post yesterday).

Charree said...

What a great routine you have going with David and Josiah. I really like that you broke it down by parts of the day. I will have to remember that in years to come.

Have a blessed day!

Margie said...

THIS is so helpful! I'm going to print this out and modify it for the girls. Swishing the potty seems very do-able, and would be a big help to me. They're doing little things, but this is so solid and worthwhile. Am so glad to read this. Thank you, Davene!