Monday, June 9, 2014

Sign On The Dotted Line

I have three general goals for this summer when it comes to the girls:
  1. Get them away from dependence and near addiction to electronics,
  2. Make sure they are more physically active including ample time spent outdoors, and
  3. Give them more chores around the house
Sure, some of these goals are selfish.  I'd love to pawn off some of the household cleaning duties on them, and getting them outside more often means giving me some quiet time inside.  Not wanting to appear like an evil witch, though, we instead packaged this with a "it's our job as your parents to teach you about responsibility so that you can be a productive adult" speech. I explained to the girls that I, with their dad's help, would be drawing up a contract that would specifically state expectations for ultimate productivity and compliance.  I was also sure to explain to them that full negotiation would be allowed and encouraged to make sure they felt like they had a say in the matter.  After all, good labor relations lead to more hospitable working environment.

The contract was waiting for their review on the dining room table this morning, and without one word from me rooms were clean immediately.  I reviewed the document with the girls; the legal jargon had the girls a little perplexed (I'm only a little embarrassed at the joy writing it brought me last night) so I wanted to make sure they understood all the terms.  Negotiations took place this afternoon when The General got home from work, and his union heart was a little broken when both girls agreed to all terms as written without hesitation or question.  I like to think that I'm just that fair of a contract writer.  Below is the exact agreement (minus our last name for privacy purposes) that we all signed and is now posted on the refrigerator.  I feel like this might be one of my greatest parenting achievements to date.


We, the daughters of The General and The Mrs., have read and discussed the following terms for responsibility and personal growth during the 2014 summer break as outlined below:

1.  We, McKenna G. and Elaina R. P*****, agree to have our rooms clean each day before 10 a.m.  For clarification, "clean" means the following:  bed is made, all dirty clothes are put in the hamper, clean clothes are placed in drawers and/or closet, all garbage is put in a garbage can, and all toys and books are put in their proper location.

2.  We, McKenna G. and Elaina R. P*****, agree that there will be no screen time between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. unless given special permission by our parents.  This includes the following:  television, Wii, movies, Netflix, iPods, computers, and iPads.  Exceptions will be made ONLY for listening to music on iPods.

3.  We, McKenna G. and Elaina R. P*****, agree to read at least 20 minutes each day. 

4.  We, McKenna G. and Elaina R. P*****, agree to spend at least one hour (60 minutes) of recreation time outside each day, weather permitting.  Activities include but are not limited to:  bike riding, jump roping, water activities, walking, bubble blowing, kite flying, swinging, outdoor games, and any other leisure activity.

5.  We, McKenna G. and Elaina R. P*****, agree to assume responsibility for the drying of dishes following afternoon and evening meals on a rotation basis.

6.  We, McKenna G. and Elaina R. P*****, agree to take on additional chores and duties in an effort to assist our parents with the tasks of upkeep and beautification of our home and property. This may include, but is not limited to, dusting, sorting laundry, folding laundry, putting away clothes, vacuuming, taking out the garbage, watering flowers, garden upkeep, lawn care, or any other task as assigned.

7.  We, McKenna G. and Elaina R. P*****, agree to have all personal belongings put in their proper locations at the end of each day prior to going to bed each night.  Special attention will be paid to the living room and outdoor areas.

8.  We, McKenna G. and Elaina R. P*****, agree to attempt to live in the moment and refrain from asking :  "What are we doing tomorrow?" more than once a day.

We, the daughters of The General and The Mrs., understand that violation of any of the above conditions will result in penalty as determined by our parents.  Penalties may include loss of an X, loss of  privileges, added chores, or other consequence not specifically named here.  We also understand that adherence to these conditions will likely result in happier moods, increased sense of personal satisfaction, and/or additional rewards or privileges. 

By signing below, we agree to the above terms and conditions as they have been read and explained to us.  We understand these terms will begin Monday, June 9th, 2014 and will terminate on the final evening of summer on Thursday, August 14th, 2014.  We understand this document will be posted for quick and easy reference throughout the term of this contract and our parents, The General and The Mrs., are willing to discuss this contract at any time for clarification of terms and conditions.

McKenna G. P*****, daughter

Elaina R. P*****, daughter

The General, father

The Mrs., mother                                 


Anonymous said...

You poor girls....I think you need to come visit Gramma for some R&R! BUT, just wondering...
Gramma Poke

JD in GC said...

That is awesome, I love it!

The Bride said...


Kori said...

Amazing. Totally ♥ these ideas!Thanks for sharing!


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