There came a day when I stopped using chore charts. Chores for kids are very important and I want our kids to do them, but I didn’t want the stress of keeping up with a chore chart. With four kids, it was becoming just that- an extra cause of stress (that I did not need).
Let me tell you why I had STARTED using one:
- They were cute.
- They looked nice.
- They seemed like a good idea.
- They would hold the kids accountable.
Now let me tell you why I STOPPED using one:
- They were taking up a lot of space on the wall.
- When I made them personal ones, they weren’t keeping up with them.
- It was more work for me.
- It added stress.
- I wanted them to get into the habit of doing these chores just because it was their job, not because it was on a chore chart.
I wrote a post a few months back called STOP doing that for your kids and it is one of the best reminders about why kids need to help out (I re-read it myself… often.) When I read it, I am reminded of what I want our kids to become and how I am going to achieve it.
- I know that our kids need chores that are really their ‘daily responsibilities’.
- I know that they need to do things without being asked (like take their dishes to the dishwasher and put away their clothes).
- I also knew that I wanted to have a few “extra” chores, like gathering the trash, sweeping the hallway and brushing the leaves off of the front porch.
These were things that did not need done daily (maybe weekly or even monthly), but I need the kids to pitch in with those things, because we are a family and we are a team. I also do not want to raise entitled kids or lazy adults. I want to raise responsible adults.
Onto the reason for this post…
I came up with a little system that helps me do just what I wanted. Every day they kids have their daily chores or responsibilities. These are NOT written on a chore chart or a flip card or a list. I remind them if they forget, but they have become habits. It is a habit to brush our teeth when we wake up and these are habits, as well…
- They know that they need to keep their room clean (and if they forget, this little reminder is just what they need!)
- They know that they need to clean up after themselves at mealtimes.
- They know that they need to make their beds and open their shutters when they wake up.
- They know that if they don’t put away their clean clothes, no one is going to do it for them (as much as I want to do it, because I like a clean room… they will deal with the consequences, not me.)
What about the extras?
Enter… our chore basket!
The chore basket is probably the easiest chore system that you are ever going to find. It makes it so easy! I just have them pick chores out of the basket and they do whatever is on the card. There are no special rules or regulations.
If I need their help, I have them pick out 2-3 chores and do whatever is on the card.
That’s it. It is simple and easy. If they resist, be sure to stick with what you know is right and teach your children that talking back will get you nowhere. Chores build character in children. It is good for them, helpful for you and a win-win all around.
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