Monday, April 6, 2015

The Charting of Chores

"Ok, I get a toy EVUR-E week?!" he said with wide eyes, half selling half pondering as we discussed the list that lay before us.

It was week one of introducing the chore chart, the consistency and motivation of it all feeling like more of the accountability of us as parents vs. the five year old eager to add new responsibility to his list.

A bit like the Elf, but with less sneakiness to it all...

To equip us with a plan, a quick Google search had a good list of chore ideas by age (Pinterest - way too complicated for this mama), and Lakeshore Learning in Merriam had all the tools we needed. Feeling a bit like the good ol' days of playing school, we left with:

- Chore Chart
- Reward stickers
- New marker
- Weekly reward toys for less than $2
- Rubber bracelets for "caught being good" moments

Knowing that ultimately constancy, understanding expectations, doing well and pleasing others motivates our oldest, we tape the chart to his wall each Sunday, Saturday evening being the night he earns the small awards. Daily he's responsible for:

- Brushing his hair and teeth
- Picking up his room floor and all toys
- Making his bed
- Putting clothes in hamper
- Clearing his dishes
- Feeding the pets
- Reading a book
- Practicing his spelling words
- Practicing kindness
- 1xweek: a load of laundry

Every six weeks or so if he's done really well with few reminders, he earns a small toy as a complete surprise. This has been an incredible help in maintaining our sanity and he feels like he's giving back to the family as well. It's been an awesome reminder to me as a mother that the mister and I don't have to do it alone, and there is a big piece of parenting that isn't just fun and emotional support, but responsibility as well.

If it's advice you seek in entering this arena with your kiddo, ours would be to understand what motivates your child, always give them the choice and then reward or not, and be consistent and realistic with goals.

What kind of tools do you use in your household to grow and teach responsibility?

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