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If we are chronically unhappy with our offspring for missing the mark in life, maybe we need to make the mark clearer and more easily attained. If you always project you can do a task better – they’ll let you. For these frustrating seasons of inter-family dynamics, whether they be chores, school work, schedules, etc. I suggest simple lists and/or check-off sheets. When you create and use these tools the mark(s) in life suddenly become clearer and more easily measured.

In our family we used simple check-off sheets I created for multiple uses such as schoolwork (homework); chores; weekend projects; long-term goals, schedules – the list is endless. I simply created a Word document with a line for a check-mark on the left and the item to accomplish on the right:

______                        Take out the trash

______                        Read to your sister for 15 minutes

______                        Help Dad replace light bulbs

Each of the different personalities among our kids seemed to do well with this clear measurement of expectations. As moms, though, we tend to take on the martyr role at times and forget how important it is to make our needs/expectations clear. We get upset because what’s important to us doesn’t seem important to other members of our family. Then we tend to keep the bulls eye a secret, desire our family members to read our minds, become upset and sullen, and everyone feels punished.

Don’t expect your family to guess what is important to you, what you need, or how to do tasks. You will have to explain, teach, and show how to do jobs to meet your standards. It won’t usually “just happen”. Then you will probably have to relax in how the job turns out and resist the urge to go behind your little blessings and correct it to your standard. Pick your battles carefully and don’t nit-pick everything they do.

Remember, your family cares about you; they want to bless you and please you. They may not care if the trash is over flowing or the dust is an inch thick or every toy is on the floor – but they do care about pleasing you. So make your needs and expectations clear and measurable and more than likely your family will be glad to step-up and enjoy marking off those tasks!

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