Chores without a chore Chart
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 a chore char:
- 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 a chore chart:
- 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 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 windowns, 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.
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 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.
Another idea–>> This is an easy system, too.
If you want to start chores with your kids, but not have to deal with a chore chart, try these chore sticks. We have them & they are easy and they are “normal” chores, like sweep the floors, dust, clean up the living room, etc… It makes it easy to say “Ok everyone – go grab 2 chore sticks and then you are done and you can go play.”
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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