Bringing Chores to Light
Chores are not about forcing your child to do something, they are about teaching responsibility.
A reward should not be expected from you to your child. They should know that they are expected to do things no matter if they receive a reward or not.
Children are part of the family. As such, they should help around the home, especially in regard to their own things.
Don’t get me wrong, I know those 3 phrases make me look like a hard-a**, but I am really not.
Kudos to you if you can get this to work. We have tried rewards with my kids, mostly because I wanted to give them something to look forward to, and hoping that thinking of them as an incentive would give them more motivation to do things properly and without argument. I was wrong. It did get to a point where my kids expected more than what they put in and for me, that was enough.
I had to explain responsibility. I told them that I have responsibilities that I have to do every day. Like laundry, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of them. I asked them if I got a special reward for doing those things, besides the happiness of my family. When they answered no, I told them I don’t expect one either.
Implementing Chores and Some Ideas
I’ve expected my kids to be helpful around the house since they where old enough to understand what it means to be a contributor in a household. I’ve devised multiple types of chore charts over the years. Some have worked, some haven’t.
When they were younger I used pictures to help them see what needed to be done. Before I introduced these, I explained what each picture meant. A picture of a toothbrush, for brushing teeth. A garbage can, for empty the trash. A piece of laundry, for pick up dirty clothes, Etc. Here is a copy of my Picture Chore Chart.
As they got older I changed it to just words so it didn’t feel so babyish to them. I did, however, learn that my children ,specifically, needed a detailed list of exactly how to do each chore. So I made a set of cards for each child and punched a hole in the top corner of each. Then I put a ring through it, so they would stay together. Here is a copy of the Chore Cards I made (with a description of how to put them together).
Now that they are older they understand, for the most part, what is expected of them. I eliminated all of those details and now we just have a check list.
I have tried several different ways to divide chore equally among my kids. I figured out, for me, the best way was to make a list of the duties I felt they could accomplish. For my older kids that includes things such as emptying the dishwasher and putting away the dishes, feeding and watering our animals, cleaning their own bathroom and room, taking out the garbage, and vacuuming certain areas of the house. I measured each chore with a level of difficulty and what it would entail, then divided them among them, to be fair. That way one can’t say they have more difficult chores, or that they have more to do than the other child. Things like cleaning the room, in which they both make a mess on a daily basis, is a joint chore, but they have a deep clean day in which one of my children has to “deep clean” the bedroom.
I also have things on their lists that are not chores, but part of their daily routine. Such as, brush teeth and take a shower. For me, it’s just easier to put them on their lists, rather than to make a whole separate list as a reminder.
Another addition to the fairness factor, is to switch things up. I have tried a few different ways to switch up their chores. Such as, having them do things on alternating days, so every other day they did different chores, but I’ve found for us switching weekly is best.
I hope this post is helpful to any of you looking for ways to implement chores into your home. Thanks for reading. Questions or comments? You can contact me via email here or comment below. If you did find it useful feel free to hit the like button or share on social media.