So far we have covered the why’s, when’s and what’s of chores. Today we will talk about the how’s. Once you decide that it is time to have your child(ren) start being responsible for some chores, then you need to decide what chores each child will be responsible for, how you will track the chores and if you will be paying for the chores accomplished. In my next article we will discuss my thoughts on paying for chores but we will discuss the other ideas now.
First make a list of your children and the chores you want them to be responsible for. Divide the chores based on age and ability Next decide how you are going to keep track of the chores. Are you going to use a daily chore chart, a weekly chore chart? Is this chart something you are going to create yourself, buy or download? Are the children going to be responsible for the same chores every week or do the chores rotate? Don’t let these questions overwhelm you but, a well planned out system helps eliminate problems from the start. Since my boys are close in age and could do most of the same chores, I created a pocket chart. Each boy had 6 pockets. Then I created 12 index cards with chores on them. Every Sunday night I would shuffle the cards and hold them blank side to the boys and they would take turns picking cards. Those cards would become their chores for the week. (This also made them responsible for the chore selection and lessened the amount they could complain about their assignments for the week because they did the choosing.) We have also used more traditional weekly chore charts. where they can check off a completed chore and then, when I checked their chores I could mark the chore completed.
Now, you can’t just post a chore chart on the kitchen wall and expect things to get done. As I said in a previous post, chores are not about getting your kids to do your work, they are about training your children to take responsibility for helping manage their home. I suggest having a family meeting. Explain to the children the why’s of chores and what is expected of them. Explain the chore chart and how it works.
You need to take the time and teach each chore to your children. You may even want to start with 1-2 chores each and then add 1-2 more each week as they learn the new skills. How do you want the bathroom sinks cleaned? What products and tools do you use to get the job done? I have typed out a “how-to clean” guide for each room in the house and taped it inside a cabinet door or hung it on a wall for the children to reference when necessary.
In the beginning you will have to remind your children about completing their chores. The goal is that they will successfully complete their chores without you reminding them to do them. This does take time but if you are consistent, they will succeed.
In my next post I will be sharing my thoughts on paying for chores. What do you think? Do you pay for chores? Do you punish for chores not completed? Leave me a comment and let me know how you deal with chores in your household.