August 22, 2008

New Chores System

Chores can be a tricky thing to work out in a household. I am always changing how we do our chores. For the most part we have always just worked together to get things done. My girls help according to their ability. However, that doesn't always work well. My 8 yo will get upset because the 6 and 4 yo are not doing as much as she is. This also often leads to children taking it upon themselves to be "in charge" of their siblings to make sure that things are coming along "fairly". Which always leads to spending more time settling arguments than actually getting the chores done.

I have also tried having a rewards system for chores, however this often leads to children asking if they can earn a reward for things like brushing their teeth or throwing our their garbage. My husband and I feel as if those are not things that they should be rewarded for, but instead they are things that they need to learn to do as training for their adult lives. However, we do like to offer rewards of some sort for other chores as an incentive for them and to make things more fun. How can we find a balance?

This week, since I have been working on the homeschool schedule and charts we will be using for this school year, I decided to re-vamp our chore system. Here is how we will work our chores.

First of all, the girls have two lists on their bedroom wall. One is called the "Morning List" and the other is the "Bedtime List". Those lists are for things that each girl needs to do each day and these are not things that will gain them some kind of reward, but things they just have to do. They are also required to pick up after themselves throughout the day, there is not a reward for doing that. The lists I made look like this:

Morning List

Wake Up and get up
Make Your Bed
Put on glasses
Brush Teeth
Get Dressed
Put away your PJ’s
Put your Pull-Ups in the trash
Put any dirty clothes in the laundry room
Take your water cups to the kitchen
Straighten your room
Straighten your bathroom
Turn off your nightlight

Bedtime List

Brush your teeth
Turn on your night light
Put on PJ’s and Pull-Ups
Put dirty laundry in the laundry room
Get 2 dolls and a book
Get a cup of water
Use the potty
Kiss everyone good night
Say your prayers
Get in bed, under your covers
8 pm is time for lights out and go to sleep!

I made the lists on MS Word and added a cute graphic on top of each list.

The next things we will be doing is a reward system for chores not listed on this list. I made a master list of all of our household chores (daily, weekly and as needed). I will now assign a point value to each chore.

Each of my girls have a sticker chart to keep track of their points. For each point earned they will get one sticker. At the end of the week they will be able to cash those points in for "Daddy Dollars" and "Mommy Money". These "play money" bills that I will design on the computer and print out will be able to be cashed in for various things that the girls enjoy such as picking the movie we watch for a family movie night, a turn on the computer to play games, a chance to choose the family treats when we grocery shop, etc. I will have a list of what I will offer for the Mom Money and my husband will have a list of what he will offer for the Daddy Dollars. We will assign a point value to each of these special things.

We will also have a list of things that the children will be "fined" for if they don't do as they are supposed to such as having a bad attitude towards parents or siblings or leaving a mess for others to clean up or not finishing their school work.

My girls really thrive on these kinds of rewards systems. They love the competitive nature of it as well as the excitement of a fun reward at the end of it all. My husband and I think it is great teaching tool as well.

I can't wait to see how this all works out! We have been doing a sort of trial run of this type of system for the past few days and the house has never been cleaner and the girls are getting along really well with very minimal arguing!

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