Managers of Their Chores Preface
After writing Managers of Their Homes about scheduling in 1999, the biggest cry of further need we heard from moms was for help in the area of chores. The twenty-four test families for Managers of Their Homes indicated they would have liked a large portion of the book to have been given to chores. Because chores were not the main theme of that book, we stayed with a single chapter on chores and then included a couple of worksheets in the Scheduling Kit to help with chore assignments. From e-mails we have received from moms through the years since publishing Managers of Their Homes (for more information, please see page 200), ongoing requests were presented for help in the area of chores. These moms could get their chores scheduled, but they wanted to know what to assign, who to give the jobs to, how to encourage the children to do their chores, what kinds of expectations they should have, and what consequences and rewards were appropriate.
As a family, we also had struggled with chores in our home. Nothing worked until Steve came up with the idea of the children wearing their chore lists while they did their work. He began by designing a wrist band for the children to wear, using wide sewing elastic, making a clear plastic pocket, and holding it on with Velcro. Teri sewed the prototype, and we used cardboard for the chore cards. Finally, we had a chore system that was successful. While our current ChorePacks are more sophisticated than our original homemade ones, the basic idea remains the same.
After doing a survey of conservative Christian moms in the spring of 2005, we realized whether children did chores or not greatly impacted their productivity as adults and their whole mindset toward work. Chores weren’t simply a matter of maintaining an organized, clean home. Those moms who’d had little or no chore work as children not only didn’t know how to manage their homes, they struggled with poor attitudes as well. Because the Lord Jesus had called them to be mothers and homemakers, they wanted to be able to enjoy the work He had given to them. They indicated that they believed if they had been given more chores and responsibility growing up, they would have learned to like the work involved in daily life and have accepted it better.
We felt strongly in the summer of 2005 that Jesus wanted us to put together our chore information to help other families. It is our desire that this book would not only give families a tool they could use for implementing a chore system in their homes, but also that it would change their attitudes about chores. Rather than seeing chores in a negative light, we hope that families will see chores for the many benefits they will provide their children.
We are grateful for the work our oldest daughter, Sarah, does in formatting our books. This one was especially challenging because of the appendix. Christopher, our second-oldest son, designed the cover. We appreciate the help of our great proofreader.
In Christ Jesus,
Steve & Teri Maxwell