Thursday, May 9, 2013

Our Little General Conference Challenge

Some of you may remember at the end of President Monson's welcome remarks during April's Saturday morning conference session when he asked members to contribute to the missionary fund as they are able. At that moment little bells started ringing in my head, and I began brainstorming ways to use this as a teaching opportunity for our kids.

Cameron and I chatted a bit, then we brought it up with our kids. The kids set a goal to earn $100 by doing extra jobs around the house and yard. (No shortage of help needed these days with a pregnant mom, a dad in school, and dandelions making a strong comeback in our front yard.) When they reach their goal we'll all go out to a nice (read: not Arctic Circle or Ikea) dinner. And we'll match their contribution at some generous percentage and then send in our family's donation. We told the kids that we would be paying a little more generously for jobs than usual since it was for such a good cause.
We made a little chart, and they get to put on a sticker every time they earn a dollar. I have to say I've been thrilled with their response so far. Some mornings they come and ask me what jobs they can do to earn more stickers. I don't know about you, but this actually is not how my kids usually wake up. Sometimes I debate about whether now is the time to introduce them to basics of cleaning or emphasize excellence in housekeeping when they leave big streaks on the windows or spots on other surfaces. (Admittedly, excellence in housekeeping isn't my strength these days, and they're pretty young, so I'm pretty soft here.) Now is also a great time for "green cleaning"--if they sample vinegar solution or baking soda, that's OK. I try to keep the harsher chemicals pushed to the back of my cupboards. But vinegar and baking soda can go a long ways, particularly if you're a die-hard non-perfectionist like myself (or if you're surrounded by kids looking for something new to clean every day).
Grace decided to follow her siblings' good examples and shampoo our toilet
Window streaks and supervision aside, I am loving watching my kids so excited to work and contribute every penny to missionaries around the world who need a little financial help. Frankly, I can see only one downside: at this rate they're going to fill that chart waaaaaay before this baby is born. And I could really use the extra help a little bit longer.

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