This post is about the Finish family of products and the #SparklySavings #shop hosted by #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. All opinions are my own.
This summer, our kids got a wild case of the “gimmies”. No matter where we went, they wanted us to buy them something. I felt like I had toddlers all over again and it was getting a bit out of hand. My breaking point happened while I was loading the dishwasher one morning. My hands were full and I called the kids and asked them to help me get the dishwasher detergent out of the cabinet. To my surprise (and frustration), they looked up from their books and called back, “In a minute, Mom, we’re busy.”
I know they weren’t trying to be rude, but it was a gazillion degrees outside and for some reason I didn’t turn the AC on, so I was really cranky and upset. As I stomped into the living room and looked at them – all cuddled up on the couch, engrossed in their books – I felt like I was the maid, the chef, the babysitter, and the circus clown all wrapped up into one hot, sweaty mess.
Instead of yelling, I went back into the kitchen and washed my hands. I poured myself a nice, tall glass of cucumber water (I am addicted to it!) and waited. You see, I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about how keeping your cool as a parent is incredibly more effective than losing it, so I’ve really been working on reducing the yelling in our home. My sister and I call these outbursts “adult temper tantrums” and we love the description because it’s really what us parents are doing when we start yelling, no? We’re reacting like children – and to drive the point home, I always envision what I look like while I’m yelling and it stops me dead in my tracks.
As I drank my water, I put some paper and pens on the kitchen table and finished loading all of the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher. When they finally got thirsty and asked me for a drink, I asked them to come to the table. They immediately saw the supplies and asked if we were going to make something. When I said that we were going to make Chore Charts, their smiles disappeared and I watched the pouts creep upon their adorable little faces (even when I’m upset with them, I still find them insanely adorable!)
I explained to the kids that we couldn’t keep buying them stuff every time we left the house, and that at their ages, they needed to understand the importance of how to earn money and what things cost. To make things sound more interesting, I also explained that by earning their own money that meant that they also got to decide what they were going to spend it on. My son was game right away and started coming up with all sorts of things he could do: take out the garbage, stack wood with his father, feed the dogs, clean his room, help me shop for groceries, etc. But my daughter, who is two years younger, was much more, well, peevish about it. I got lots of “but whhhhhyyyyyyy?” and “I don’t want to do chores!” and “I’m still too little.” However, once I explained to her that her beloved beanie boos only cost eight dollars and she could buy them whenever she had that much money in her piggy bank, she got really excited!
The best part about letting them choose their chores was that they chose chores that I would have thought were too difficult for them like loading the dishwasher. But when I protested, my daughter immediately pointed out that “I said she could pick her own chores”, so I butted back out. We have set certain safety guidelines in place for some of the more difficult chores (i.e. my son can’t go into the street unattended to get the garbage pails, my daughter can’t touch the knives or kitchen shears, etc), but we have really watched their confidence grow each time they do their chores. We also don’t force them to do their chores. If they don’t do them, they simply don’t get any money for it – and this has also been a great motivator. It keeps me from nagging, and it forces them to be more responsible too.
So far, my son’s favorite chore is stacking wood with my husband and giving the dogs fresh water throughout the day. Whereas, my daughter’s favorite chore is helping me load the dishes. She loves figuring out to fit everything inside and is amazed that they go in filthy and come out squeaky clean.
In our home, we test out a lot of products to make sure that we’re picking safer choices for our family, but also ones that get the job done. We really like Finish dishwasher detergent, especially the Quantum Power and Free one, because it has less harsh chemicals than other brands. We buy ours at Walmart and they have a terrific Rollback for it going until October that can be paired with a coupon for amazing savings. If you’d like to try some too, download one today!