Kids job and chore charts.

Again, I apologize for the quality of the photos. I am working my hardest on getting a decent camera!

Getting the kids to do their jobs is a constant struggle. A fight that I know I am just starting. I also know that I am not alone and that I always learn better ways to do things from other people who have struggled with this also. So send some help my way!

We are really good with a "method" for a few weeks and then we fall off the wagon when the "fun" new idea is getting old and they realize that I have tricked them into doing their jobs again. 

The problem is that I hate to have to trick them, or bribe, or beg, or scream, or demand etc.  I wish they would just want to have a clean house. Yea right. 

The method that has worked the best, although it is on and off again, is this one I will describe below. 

We have a family meeting, usually on a Monday night, and we let the kids make a list of things that they think they should be responsible for on a daily basis. We talk about how it is important mentally, spiritually, and physically to have a clean house and to work together. Paul usually talks about what it takes to be a family, how we have to work together, and the importance of doing our part. All the kids make this list even the 3 year old. We have another list of weekly and monthly items as well, but I don't keep that one posted in view all day as they seemed to get overwhelmed. 

We then talk about what they can earn if they consistently do their jobs. These are not material things. They are things like a date with Paul and I to a movie by themselves. Or choosing an entire meal that I make for them including dessert. They have chosen to have a friend spend the day with us. We usually write their wish list on the back of the chore chart. When they have 2 weeks of all their chores done every day they get to pick one of their awards.  They typically earn an award about once a month. 

I type up their jobs in a column format with the days of the week on top and the chores down the side. Each child's is different according to their age and ability. Smaller kids jobs can be helping me with the baby. My oldest son has mowing the lawn on his. They all have straighten their rooms and make their beds daily.

I let them pick a piece of scrapbook paper for the background, anything they want. I affix the printed chore chart to the scrapbook paper and I laminate them with the heavy lamination. When they have done a job they take a dry erase marker and color in the box or make an X through it.

I use flat magnets on the back so I can hang them on the refrigerator. This way they can see them all day and they are at eye level. 

I want my kids to learn to work. They need to learn that it never really ends, it is a part of life. They also are part of a large family and I can't possibly do everything for them and don't think that any Mom should. I think it is important for them to be as involved as possible in the process of making the chore chart and deciding their jobs. If they are they take ownership of the idea and it seems to work better.

How do you do chores at your house. What methods work for you?



A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

1. Throw my hands in the air and pray for the laundry fairy to show up.

2. Withhold dinner until SOMEONE folds clothes.

3. Yell.

.:Anna:. said...

You ought to post about how fantastic your kids were the other night when you left TUcker with them.

Hey-your white line is gone!

.. or is it?

Simonne said...

I'm fascinated! We have an almost 4 year old son and a 14 month old. The almost 4 year old son responds BEAUTIFULLY to charts. Wondering if you would please share WHAT duties/chores each age is responsible for?

Also, where did you find the template for these charts? One last question... do you do the laminating yourself and if so how?

Thanks! All of these questions from a mom who is returning to work full time Friday for the first time in 14 months. I'm desperate to find ways to simplify our lives and keep the house orderly as I won't have all day at home to stay on top of things myself.

:) Simonne

carla said...

Love Charts! I tried to do one this summer also, but we lost steam about 3 weeks into it. Mine was much simpler than yours...he got a gold star on a sheet of paper. After 10 stars he got something...maybe it was a bag of gummy worms. Since I'm a teacher, I view summertime as unscheduled fun, but I know there is still chores to be done. Hopefully you can share your chart with us so others can benefit from your great idea!

Riahli said...

I don't do charts so far, we tried that some with my husband's little brother while he lived with us (for seven years) and it worked okay, but it never lasted for long and it really seemed to take too much hassle on my part once the fun of it wore off for him. Your charts look great and I love your ideas! I reward helpful behavior with a rock jar. Every time they do something helpful, like helping me empty the dishwasher, they get to put a little decorative rock from one pint size glass jar into the other (the jar will get bigger when they get older). The object is to fill the second jar full with the rocks from the first jar and once that is done we all do something fun together, like a special movie or outing or maybe even going out for icecream, whatever. We pick what we want to do ahead of time as a family and write it down on a piece of paper and put it at the bottom of the jar. I don't reward every little thing, like they are expected to help clean up the playroom during daycare hours just like the rest of the kids, or at any time that it needs to be cleaned...I of course have to help too because mine are still little and need that extra motivation. I want them to understand that helping out when you are a part of a family, especially a big one, is necessary and required and doesn't always come with more of a reward then the feeling of being a good helper. I also know that even I like to reward myself sometimes for all the hard work, so the rock jar has been a good combination of both for us. :) When they are older we will probably do something a bit more structured with specific chores, I haven't made up my mind on that one yet.

Katie said...

I like your reward program...I usually have to BEG, PLEAD, BRIBE or Threathen to get them to do ANYTHING around the house...and then I still end up doing it. I like the chore chart...I've thought about doing one in teh past but figured it was a waste of time. They are both 6 (the youngest is now 2) but...the older ones are always asking for fun things and this may be the way to give both of us what we want! Thank you for your wisdom and unknown friendship! Sometimes I sip my coffee and read your blog and feel like I"m getting to know you on a one to one basis! It's a daily treat for me!

Jennifer said...

I have done a chore chart for my oldest. We decided to have his chores related to his allowance. We started this when he was 12 (2 yrs ago)so he could pay for things he'd like to have on his own. He had the potential to earn x$ per week. Each chore was color coded based on the day of the week it needed to be accomplished and it had the dollar value for each chore as a reminder. In order for the chore to be checked off, he had to complete the chore without reminders so he was responsible for his own choices. The chart was laminated and on the refrigerator like yours are.

At the end of the week, we would add up what he had earned versus his potential. There were times he would earn everything and other times he slacked! There were weeks he earned very little and he really didn't like that very much. He had to use this money if he wanted to purchase something at the store, play the dreaded claw machine, or save it up for large purchases.

He currently is saving up for a bike he wanted ($350) which we were NOT willing to purchase. He makes sure he does his chores and he is even doing yard work for other people to earn money.

We have not started a chart for our girls yet and really need to. We have decided to have them alternate certain chores. You have reminded me that I really need to get theirs created! I love your idea of rewards and think we'll do something like that for them considering their age.

Glad you posted your system!!

Kevin and Natali McKee said...

We always liked picking our chores. It was easier to do when we chose then vs. when the parent's chose them for us.

Jen said...

This is a good idea. I usually am the one who fails to follow through on keeping up with the chart, and then the kids lose interest. This summer we tried a bean jar and they would earn beans when they did chores, etc. Then they earned things like going to the children's museum when they reached certain points.

carla said...

Let me also say, I just re-read my post and realize I had a verb used incorrectly. I was trying to type fast be/c my 5 year old was trying to ask me something. And I also meant to say hopefully you'll share your template with us. :) (Didn't want people to think a teacher didn't know the correct verb to use, but hey..I'm human and make tons of mistakes!!)

tnikki said...

I do the chart thing as well, but it wasn't really an award type of thing. It was a "to help out kind of thing". I let my daughter who was 12 at the time, now 15, pick which two chores she would help with. She picked cleaning the bathroom and the basement walkway. She choose which days of the week to do them. Then she has a dish night to help with and she chose the day with that too. So whenever she would complain about doing her chores, I could always tell her that she was the one to pick, she could always change to something else. You know she never did and now I don't even have to tell her. My boys who are a lot younger 8 and 6 I help them get theirs done. I have it posted on the fridge. I don't ever change the chore chart I think that have it always the same makes it easiest. Three years and it is going great.

Marissa said...

I am going to have to try your idea with my kids. They like to make things and use stickers or color so this would work great. Thanks so much for sharing.

The Mom said...

This is for Simmone~ I take mine to kinkos and laminate it there, they have really heavy laminating pockets.

Jake said...

I've been working really hard over the past few months on a website called called PowrHouse (http://powrhouse.net/). It sounds like you've got kids who are too young to use it (you need to be able to read and use e-mail), but it's something to consider when they get a little older :)

It's currently in beta, but it works well (we're using it in our household). You add everyone you live with (kids, spouses, roommates, etc.), add your chores (names and how often they should be done), and PowrHouse keeps track of whose turn it is to do each chore (and sends email reminders every night, with links to click to signal that you've done the chores).

If you do end up using it, please contact me (my info is on the site) and let me know what you think, as I'm trying to make it as useful to all types of households as possible. If not, thanks at least for reading this far :)

MoodyMommy said...

This is a great idea!! I just made myself a CHORE reminder...Silly huh?? I have to visually see a list of what I need to do.
What are the choses that your little ones do? I love your reward system!!
Thank You for sharing this link with me!

kim said...

I don't think kids ever want to chores so that part made me laugh.

I guess I just tell them this is what they have to do and make them by screaming demanding etc...LOL. All the things you want to avoid...lol.

The only thing that I personally think sends mixed messages is the reward for chores. As a sahm I don't get rewarded or paid for my chores so I don't see why my kids should.

TucksMommy said...

Well I do reward my 3 1/2 year old for doing chores. He mainly does things like taking his dirty clothes to the garage or taking the trash to the can. I made the decision to be a mother & not earn money, my son didn't make that choice. The other reason I reward him for chores is I feel I do get rewarded for my "job" maybe not in money or physical things but in ways that are immeasurable.

Tina @ www.commoncentshome.blogspot.com said...

I just stumbled accross your blog and thought this post was great. I happen to post my system today for rewarding chores and behavior.