Chore Chart – Why or Why Not (and the best chore chart we’ve ever used!)
There came a day when I stopped using a normal chore chart and started using my Swap Chores for ScreenTime chore chart for their daily chores. 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).
When we begin to use a chore chart as a way to help our children to become more responsible or to help out more, it will either work like a charm or fail miserably. Having a chore chart for kids is definitely a good idea, as long as it does not become MORE work for the parent. That’s where chore charts usually go downhill.
However, when kids want to earn money or earn screen time, a chore chart can be great.. .if you find the right one. We stopped using normal chore charts and started using our new Swap Chores for ScreenTime Cards – and it’s worked wonderfully.
Let me tell you why I had STARTED using chore charts:
- 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 chore charts:
- 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 because I felt like I was trying to keep up with them.
- 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 started using this instead: My kids do their chores in exchange for screen-time.
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 want them to be responsible adults one day. I want them to be hard workers and I want them to respect their things and themselves.
- 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 putting away their clothes).
- I also knew that I wanted to have a few “extra” chores, like gathering the trash, sweeping the hallway, cleaning the car, cleaning mirrors and windows, brushing the leaves off of the front porch, etc…
These were things that did not need to be done daily, but I need the kids to pitch in with those things because we are a family and we are a team. So, I had to come up with a plan that worked.
Yes, I could do it all, but I want them to understand the value of helping their family. I also do not want to raise entitled kids or lazy adults. I want to raise responsible adults.
Age Appropriate Chores
Onto the reason for today’s post… figuring out an easy chart for the kids to help with age-appropriate chores. I came up with a system that helps me do just what I wanted.
Every day the 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! We swap chores for screen time:
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 they do whatever is on the card.
Also, because I’ve explained why I need their help (part of the family, more time to play if we finish our chores, etc…) they usually don’t complain.
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.
The best part of the chore-basket & swapping chores for screentime is that they earn their screentime, so it completely eliminates the guilt that goes along with letting them have downtime to watch TV, YouTube kids, play online games, etc…
Life skills through Chores
Chores build character in children. It is good for them, helpful for you, and a win-win all around when kids do age appropriate chores.
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