Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chore Chart

If your kids are like my boys they clean up after themselves without asking, keep their rooms spick and span and do their own laundry. Oh, wait...that only happens in my dreams!

I was visiting with my sister about what I could do to persuade my kids to be more proactive in doing their chores so that I did not hound them all the time or lose my temper. She came up with a great idea for a chore chart and so my sister-in-law and I each made one and put them to use.

The idea behind this chore chart is that they do their chores (it can be adapted for not fighting with siblings, doing kind acts for others, etc) and each day they can move their magnet one space on the chart or, like this chart add a magnet to the chart. In our house they get to move a space if they have done their chores and can earn an extra space if they do not fight with each other.

Here is my chart..I just need to add each child's name across the top.

Here is the one my sister in law did...

At the end of the chart is a magnet clip holding their allowance. Once they hit that square they get the money and we start over. (I do $5 for now and will adjust it as my kids get older).

Just get a magnet board...I bought one at Ikea for under $10... and using electricial tape I taped off squares for each child. The tape comes on and off so if you are a perfectionist, you don't have to worry about crooked lines being permanent...just rip it off and try again. (These can be made cuter by modge podging cute card stock onto the magnet boys don't put much thought about it being "cute" so I save myself the time and trouble :) I have 14 squares on my chart so my kids can earn allowance each week if they do what they should:) Magnets can be found at any craft store or you can make your own.

Important rules for the chore chart:
1. Your child cannot lose a square once earned

2. The reward needs to be visible (I may also do a gift card, movie ticket or voucher for a date night with mom and dad). The great thing about this is that it can easily be adapted to each child's individual needs and personality.

3. Praise them when they get to move a square with things such as, "I knew you could do it", "Good job on your chores today" or "It was so nice not hearing any quarreling today...thank you." Positive reinforcement is a good way to let your kids know when they do a good job and they will be more likely to continue the positive behavior if they are receiving positive reinforcement about their behaviors.

4. Be consistent. Kids need consistency. If you are consistent in rewarding their efforts they will continue to try. If you are sporadic with the chore chart it will leave them wondering if they do what they are suppose to if they will receive their reward they are working so hard to attain.

5. Be very concise and clear on exactly what they are expected to do. Instead of telling my child to clean his room, I tell him that I want him to make his bed, put his dirty clothes into the laundry and pick up his toys off the floor putting them where they go. When simply asked to clean his room, my son does not make his bed, but he does pick up his toys. He never understands why I don't think his room is clean. We think differently from a child and need to be clear with our expectations.

6. Have realistic chores based on age and capability.

I find my chore chart to be a great motivator especially for my younger children. The older one lost interest until I decided to increase the reward and voila! his interest suddenly perked up again.