Tuesday, May 6

The value of time

For many moons, our morning routine has involved the kids getting up when called, making their beds, coming downstairs, and having the timer set for 30 minutes to do their chores before breakfast. We don't rotate chores, so everyone knows exactly what they have to do and how long it will take. There are consequences for not getting chores done right away, all the way, and with a good attitude before the timer goes off.

For about half as many moons, a couple of the children have consistently dawdled long enough to receive said consequences. I knew something had to change, but wasn't sure how best to go about it. Encouraging them rarely had the desired effect, and I'm not one for coaxing or bribing or compromise.

A few days ago, I was talking to one of the children about the fact that his chores often seem to take 31 minutes. It occurred to me that maybe the time designated for chores wasn't valuable enough. Loren and I discussed the possibility, and decided to see what would happen if we cut the 30 minutes down to 20.

Today is day three of the 20-minute chore time. Jon just said to me, "Mom, thank you for cutting down my chore time so I don't have time to fart around. Now I'm confident that my chores are getting done right."

Who'da thunk it?!


  1. creative parenting in action - gotta love it!

  2. Unbelievable!!!!

    Heidi, you guys are great parents!

    -- JulieBaby

  3. I just read this out loud to Mom; we both laughed :)