Chores made easy using a Chore Chart
I LOVE this quote!! My kids (currently aged 12yrs, 11yrs & 8yrs old – boy, girl, girl) are more around the 80% complaining with 19% sitting in their room just not bothering. I have always encouraged them to help out & do chores around the house, but … you know, no amount of encouraging (or lecturing) helps.
Then 2 years ago, we watched The Wonders Years together as a family (I used to love this show – shows my age!), and it reminded me of the way I used to have to help out around the house on the weekends for FREE!! I guess it gave me the incentive to start something formal with my kids & they were also at that age where they wanted to start earning pocket money. We have a range of chores they can do to earn money but also some chores that had to be done, whether they liked it or not. Here are some examples:
Have to be done:
– Once a week (usually on a Sunday arvo) – Clean & vacuum their room
– Cleaning up their own mess around the house that they have made
– Homework (this is a chore as much for the kids as it is for me!!)
– Vacuum certain areas of the house
– Clean bathroom (just basic wipe benches, clean sink/taps, wipe toilet)
– Take washing off the line & sort
– Help make dinner
– Take recycling out to bin
– Take bins out
– Unpack dishwasher
– And various smaller chores like set the table, clear the table (after dinner), fill up the water cooler, bring mail in, re-stock toilet paper in bathrooms, etc.
Each of the kids got to choose what chores they would like to do & we put a $ value next to it. For example, they might get 80c for unpacking the dishwasher, and it depends how many times they would like to do it that week. To be honest, we don’t pay our kids very much, with some simple chores starting at 20c. We worked out that a fair hourly age for a 10yr old was around $7 & then together we decided how long a chore might take. Many of the chores they do are quick tasks, with cleaning the bathroom being the longest at around 10 mins (if I’m lucky!!).
This is what our fridge looks like with their 2 week chore list, with Monday to Sunday as columns. They tick off their chores as they do them throughout the week & at the end of the week, we add up how much money they have earned. As a BONUS, if they do the allocated amount of chores (& also the number of times) we would like them to do, then they will also get an extra half hour screen time on the Sunday afternoon. And yes, I am that parent that monitors how much screen time the kids can have during the school term!! BUT because their time is limited, I find that most weeks they will do ALL their chores just to get this bonus time.
I love that being a parent contributes & provides inspiration for new products that other parents would also love. So here at Bright Star Kids we got to work & came out with this gorgeous personalised range. Looks so much better on the fridge doesn’t it? I also got reward stickers, so instead of them having to tick, they can put a sticker there when done. The great thing about this chart is that there is a column that you can personalise with ‘chore’ or ‘homework’ or anything you want. So I also got this as a homework planner for my son who actually requested it as he can be quite forgetful.
I won’t lie, having a chart, even as gorgeous as the ones above doesn’t guarantee your child to NOT complain. But it helps us especially when my 2 girls who love to shop want ‘stuff’ all the time. I just remind them they can get it with their own pocket money. So if they want to buy that toy or newest fad, well, they can! And 2 years later, they pretty much get it and you know what? I love it when we’re at the shops, and I hear them say… “it’s $14.95, it’s not worth it” cos it’s helping them manage money & their own desires. I don’t have to say “No, you can’t have it”. Instead I say, “Sure, how much money do you have?” And let them work out if it’s worth it & how long they might need to save up for it. I recently had a birthday & I felt super special when my daughter spent a whole $15 on me!! That’s 3 weeks of saving up she did & I really didn’t expect it.
Chores are invaluable for teaching kids to contribute & to be responsible. Do you use chore charts in your family? I would love to hear how having one has impacted you & your family.