Anyone who meets me and sees how I parent will tell you that I am big on life skills. I want my kids to know how to take care of themselves. When I went off to college, I didn’t even know how to do my laundry. My college roommate taught me. I do not want this for my kids. My kids do some chores around the house so they practice at it and master it. They change up. When we ask for help, we NEVER are given a hard time. They see how hard we work and want to help.
“Hire and Fire Your Kids”
I came across an app called “Hire and Fire Your Kids.” So basically it works like a job board. The parents would post a job like dishes or feed the pets. The parent would assign the jobs. If the child does not do a good enough job, they get “fired” from it. This is highly flawed.
Their goal is to manage chores and kids behavior. Behavior is communication and the developers of this app fail to see this. If the child is displaying an undesirable behavior, find out why. Do not force your child to comply. This leaves them open to grooming and abuse. This is deep rooted into the practices of ABA. This is why this jumps out to the autistic community.
If children really do not want to do the chore they were assigned and they knew there was a way out, they would just do it poorly so the parent would fire them. These developers do not remember what it is like to be a kid. On the other side of the coin, if the child is trying hard to do the task and gets fired because they do not perform to the parents standard, they would feel rejected and have poor self esteem as a result. This can be VERY traumatic. This is not how to teach life skills.
What to do instead
We have a chore chart, not for the reason you might think. The chore chart is not for the kids, its for my husband and I. We are both neurodivergent and we have a hard time remembering everything. This is an accommodation tool for the parents. Do not use this chart as a for of positive reinforcement. That is ABA and that’s not what it is for.
We have a list of things that have to be done around the house daily, the kids do not do nearly half of them and there are 6 kids. When the kids get to be a certain age, we teach how to do it. We help them for as long as they need help. Once they master it, they get excited to do it.
Bug loves to sort the recyclables that we have a trash can for in the kitchen
A loves to do laundry. He is very excited that he knows how. From learning this, he has become more independent. When he was empowered by this, he wanted to start using his own pump and inputting to give himself his own insulin. He does with supervision and he has never made a mistake.
J loves to cook and she is 14. If she wants to cook everyone dinner, we give her freedom and she gives us a grocery list for what she needs. Mom and dad don’t have to cook and she loves it. Everyone wins!
Roo folds the clothes because A has some issues with motor coordination due to A’s bio mom smoking a lot when she was pregnant with him. Roo isn’t autistic but he is ADHD. He steps in to help his brothers when needed.
Everyone loads the dishwasher with their own plates, cups, etc. If they are unsure on how to do something, NO ONE is afraid to ask.
Life Skills. EVERYONE needs them. If we ask them to do something because Nick and I are tired out from the day, no one gives us a hard time.