Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Table and Starbucks

This may or may not be the child I am talking about, I just liked the photo.

I need to have the above verse pasted in the center of my wall. Did you catch that? Let no unwholesome talk EVER come out of your mouth. I fail miserably. I always admire those women who speak with gentleness and peace. I admit I am a bit better currently, but that is only because I have been sick and my throat hurts.
My current frustration is with the child whose job it is to clear the table. Said child stays on task and does not get distracted (which is a bonus). However, tonight at dinner it took an hour and a half to get the table clear! Mind you, we had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches with carrots and ranch dressing (by all means, not an elaborate meal).

Around here clearing the table involves:

Clearing and wiping one highchair tray and putting it back

putting leftovers in the fridge

putting dishes in the dishwasher (everyone puts his/her own dishes in the D.W.)

wiping down the table

My plea for you dear readers is this: I am tired of yelling, setting the timer, spanking, adding more chores, and in general letting unwholesome talk come out of my mouth. I am begging you for suggestions on how to make this a more timely task.

I have a Starbucks Card for one person (chosen at random) that leaves me a creative solution to my dilemma.


bruland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bruland said...

Maybe try making a race out of it for him. You could time how long it takes to do it and write it on a chart. Each day he could "compete" against his other day and see if he can do better. Maybe he could have a prize (something small, like one extra story at bedtime) on the days he does it faster than the day before. Good Luck :) ....you got me motivated to sign up for a Google account with the Starbucks card....good job :)

Carolynn said...

Heather, Thanks so much for the idea, it totally worked today, The guilty party is now down to 12 minutes!!!

Alliwoo said...

A reward of some sort is always a motivator in our house.
Maybe he'd like to have a "tip" left for him like at a restaurant. All the bus boys are given tips! It could be a small toy or a couple quarters. Whatever attracts him.

Rebecca M said...

I, too, get so frustrated with our slowpoke workers as I watch a child slowly zoom each plate or piece of silverware around the kitchen three times complete with sound effects as he clears the table.

I want to end the problem right then and there with some swift and final discipline. My husband reminds me that the process of training up diligent workers is very much a process.

Something that has been working for us is that we've restructured the day so that play/fun activities always come after a work session has been completed. I've set up our routine so that the kids who choose to take a long time to finish simply use up their free time instead of mine.

Now that we have our day set up this way there are still times when I must intervene and discipline a child for not working diligently but there is the added natural consequence of said child missing out on their free time. I'm praying that they will begin to connect it all as we make a family habit of work before play!

Bridget said...

Try this new rule:
Person clearing the table must sing (nicely) while working.
That way, the child will grow a stronger singing voice and the house will be filled with the delightful sound of his/her singing while the chore is being done (however long it takes).
No need to fret or fuss, just as long as the job is being done with a joyful, singing spirit!
Just thinking outside the box, here...

Anissa said...

My, everyone has such great, thoughful and encouraging ideas. My suggestion isn't so sweet. I vote for duct tape. You decide how to use it best. JUST KIDDING, of course, Carolynn =) Love ya! Anissa =)

Carolynn said...

Thanks you all for the wonderful ideas! I am trying a combination of them, I will post the winner this week when I draw and give an update on our success.