School is out! Many of us are working from home and now we are homeschool teachers. But my “students” want to eat all the time! They think the kitchen is a 24/7 restaurant… and they don’t tip! Any other parents struggling with this? If they keep going at this rate then we will be out of food in a couple of days. So what do we do?

Enter the superhero wife! My wife is a rockstar. Yesterday she sat down and made a plan to save our food and get the kids to be a bigger part of household chores. Don’t get me wrong, our kids contribute, but they are seven and four so their contribution around the house is limited to what they can do. During this time when we are all home, things just have to look different and that’s okay. 

So this is what we came up with. We made a list of things that our kids can do around the house like making their bed, sweeping rooms, unloading the dishwasher, reading for 30 minutes (outside of their school reading), exercising (again, outside of school exercise), and so on. Each item on this list will earn them money… no, not real money! My son has some fake money to learn to count with. 

Then we made a list of snacks and food items that they love to eat. We attached prices to these items and portioned them out. The healthier the food, the cheaper the price. Oranges are $2, whereas candy is $80. And you know what? The kids love this idea! They are looking for ways to earn money so they can save up for the sweet stuff.

To keep with their regular schedules, they have their normal breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and dinner, but if they want to eat between these times then they have to do things to earn money to buy more food. This is helping us keep a routine similar to their normal school schedule which helps keep their sanity and ours.

These times are different and how we handle them may look different than normal. Get creative and make your kids part of the process. Let them speak into what you all are doing in the house. You are a family and you are in this together. This time may be stressful but we have an opportunity to make great memories! 
*For more parenting resources, including COVID-19 specific resources, go to Firstthings.org.

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