Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Step 3: Chore Charts

We’ve all seen cutsie chore charts like this one. The one’s that have perfect penmanship and scream Martha, or those that look like they would be scrapbook worthy.  When in reality, any written down chore chart that is easy for kid’s to follow will do.

You know your children best. Choose the chores you feel he or she can do and check off the days they complete the chores. If you are just starting out assigning chores, start small. Overwhelming a child with a list of chores when they previously thought being cute and making messes was there only function in life, can be daunting. The goal is to integrate helping around the house and becoming independent with their daily activities.

Here are some links to some chore list that can get you down the right track:

Implementing chores does not mean you don’t want your kids to have fun. You want to balance play with completion of chores and daily tasks. Once the system is in place, do not look forward to the inevitable hassles that go with threatening, barking orders, or generally trying to do anything to short of throwing your own fit to motivate your kids to get them to do their work on time.  They are in fact kids so they will need guidance through their chores.

To put it simply, it comes down to the simple fact that what “now” means to a kid is often different from what “now” means to their folks. Children want chores to be fit in between video games, TV shows or  playtime outdoors. Mom and Dad, however, usually prefer work to be completed before play begins, and that’s where the friction starts.

I suggest you use an action or a consequence rather than a lot of verbal warning that are never going to be followed through with, and you’ll begin to see your child’s behavior change for the better and in turn your home a happier place to be. They may not want to clean up the bedroom, but they will if there’s an effective consequence lurking around the corner. That's where following through with the consequence is KEY for you as a parent.

Below I have a copy of a chore list I have made for clients. I laminate it once the jobs are defined. Hole punch it and stick it on a hook on the back of the door in the room it is intended for. I then attach a dry erase marker to the list with velcro so the children and/or the parent can check of the tasks as they go. Double Click on the picture to get a closer look.

Paying money to your kids to do Chores: The great debate
Chores are part of being a family, and everyone does chores. This is our philosophy at our house and it works for us. I am in no way suggesting it should be yours also or is the only way to do things. We believe there are some things children should be required to do just because they are a member of the family and household. We do have extra chores for our son to do if he would like to earn money, but they are above and beyond the normal chores he is required to do as a family member (that means he is required to make his bed, clean his room, put his laundry away, everyday as a member of the family). He gets paid between 50 cents to a $1.00 if he wipes down all the baseboards in the house. Or if he wipes down the kitchen chairs or washes all the windows he can reach, you get the idea. 

Teaching your children to do these maintenance deep cleaning chores will benefit you greatly. We have already reaped of these benefits.

At our house we don’t believe in allowance. However our son is eight and this may change as he gets older. I imagine that we will require him to do the work we have asked him to before we hand him money.

Avoid becoming a Dictator
We’ve all seen them and been inside one; the house that has nothing out of place….ever. Oft times the children in the home are not allowed to creatively express themselves because the mother or parent is more concerned that the home be spotless. Creativity is where chaos lives. You can let your children be creative and still have an orderly home. It’s not the chaos that causes the trouble; it’s what to do with it afterwards. If you have a “home” for all the items when the activity is over, then the chaos is contained. Try to strike a balance in-between. Everyone will be happier because of it.

Another thing to think about. If you fall into to this dictator profile, consider this;  Your children will grow up and be just like you or more often are super messy as adults and eventually call me for help.  Those who are messy adults antiquate things being clean as frigid, uncreative, and stuffy (they are often very creative by nature).   It takes lots of convincing to help them understand that the don't have to be this way to be organized. Their homes are not as organized as others, but comfortable for them and that is what is most important!

As always you are welcome to make comments and ask questions! I am happy to answer any of your questions on the subject!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Hey friends, I know it has been a while.  I've been super busy organizing clients and having some amazing experiences along the way (more on that later). In the meantime my blog has been put on the back burner. My apologies!

For now, take a look around at the changes and tell me what you think.  Check back often, you'll not want to miss what is coming up! Cheers!

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