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Archive for March, 2011

Chore Ideas to Challenge Your Child’s Mind

March 29th, 2011 - Category: Chores

We recently read a magazine article about the intelligence of babies. The article showed how newborns use crying and other physical reactions to communicate with their parents. Unfortunately, most of us are unable to interpret the signals.

This interesting article led us to wonder: if a baby is smart enough to communicate, what are older children capable of? So we came up with a list of chores that might challenge your child’s brain but still be beneficial to your family.

1)      Have them plant a garden. Nothing tastes better than fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden. Why not give your child the chance to read and study and learn about when to plant, what to plant and how to plant. Then, weeding and maintaining the garden can be an ongoing chore for your child.

2)      Let them organize closets. A little assistance may be required to help your child use space wisely. But let them make the decisions about which items belong where and why. Challenge them to find better ways to put more items in each closet and let them have the responsibility of deciding whether certain items can be donated or thrown out.

3)      Give them the chance to build new items. If you just brought a new coffee table home from IKEA, give it to your older children. Give them the chance to read the directions and put the furniture together. This is a great skill for the future and it might be different enough that your child doesn’t even see it as a chore.

4)      Encourage them to plan and cook meals. It takes a lot of effort to figure out what ingredients you need or need to buy. Making sure you have enough food for the entire family is also a learning opportunity. This does not have to be an everyday chore, but a meal a week would be great practice.

If our children are capable of greater intelligence, why not use their chore chart to challenge that intelligence? Not only will these chores help your family, but your child may feel a greater sense of satisfaction in doing something challenging then just scrubbing the bathroom all the time.

If you don’t have a system for managing chores with your children, check out MyJobChart.com. And good luck driving your children to great intelligence and responsibility.

Set Realistic Chores for Your Children

March 21st, 2011 - Category: Teaching Kids to Work

 

Just ask any kindergarten teacher – we don’t all grow and mature at the same age. In a class of thirty students, you may have a handful that know their letters, one or two who can read, and then a select few who are still just struggling to talk.

But you are not a kindergarten teacher, so how does this article relate to you? Well, as you assign your children chores and new responsibilities, keep in mind: they may not be ready to tackle the same challenges at the same age.

Just because your oldest child was doing their own laundry and even making dinner at age 10 doesn’t mean the next one will be responsible or mature enough to follow in their sibling’s footsteps.

Here are some ideas for making a chore chart “fair” when your children exhibit differing capabilities:

-Base your chore chart on “time of completion” versus a set number of chores. If your oldest child was asked to mow the lawn at age 10 and it took him/her 2 hours to complete, consider making that the only chore for the day. For a child who is less skilled at 10 years old, have them do several chores that would typically take them up to 2 hours to complete.

-Reward more advanced chores with better benefits. Similar to the work environment, more difficult work is typically rewarded with a higher salary or better benefits. As your children take on more strenuous tasks, increase their benefits (points if you are using MyJobChart.com). Your children will come to understand that as they try and develop the skills for tougher jobs, they too will be compensated accordingly.

-Add an optional “helper” chore. Helping those that need a little extra assistance is a great trait to learn. If one child struggles to complete their list of chores, give them the option of seeking out help from other siblings. Then reward those siblings for helping get the chores done. Of course, be sure to reward the first child for being responsible enough to get their tasks completed.

Trying to fit your children into a perfect mold can be frustrating to them. Each child is different, and your chore chart should take those differences into account. When a child can complete all they are asked to do, they will find a greater level of accomplishment and be more willing to help in the future.

If you haven’t set up a chore chart for your children yet, be sure to check out MyJobChart.com.

Ways to Help Kids Build Character While On School Breaks

March 15th, 2011 - Category: General Parenting

Most children wait for weeks for that next school break to come. Christmas. President’s Day. Spring Break. But for many families it only takes a day or two of freedom before parents start hearing that common complaint: I’m bored.

Parents are put to the test looking for things to do. In the meantime, children revert to playing video games, watching t.v., or even just sitting around.

Here are some great ideas for keeping your children busy and helping them build character while on their school breaks:

Find a place for your kids to volunteer. Granted, your child may not want to participate. They may kick and they may scream, but at the end of the day, you might be surprised how willing they are to do it again. Even young children can help out and learn some great lessons by volunteering at a soup kitchen or collecting trash at a state park.

Explain to your children who is being helped and why your service is so needed. Volunteer work gives children a chance to see how lucky they are and it teaches them compassion. Even as adults, we don’t often choice to volunteer. But don’t you always feel rewarded after doing something good for those in need?

Give them a project to complete. As adults, we have lists a mile long that never get done. Why not pass one of your own to-do’s on to your children? For example, if your son has been begging you to build a skate ramp, help him find some resources online, take him to the hardware store, and give him the chance to tackle this project.

If you’ve been thinking about a garden, invite your children to take a crack at it first. No, your rows may not be straight, and the seeds might not be deep enough. But your child will feel a sense of accomplishment, and you can cross the garden off your list…finally.

For children who need a little extra persuading, you could add these projects as bonus items on their chore charts and reward them the same way you would their regular jobs. MyJobChart gives you all kinds of options for how to reward your children.

Help them plan a fun activity. Who does most the work when you have a party or plan a trip? The parents, right? But during a school break, there’s no reason your children can’t plan and execute an activity they would enjoy. Let them pick something: a picnic, a fishing trip, a pool party, or a sleep over. Give them the responsibility of planning, preparing, executing, and cleaning up after their activity.

If the activity requires a lot of work, you can help your children divide up the tasks and use their chore chart to make sure everything gets done and everyone does their fair share. Letting your children take charge of their own amusement will give them something to do, and perhaps they’ll learn that even fun events take time and effort.

If you find yourself dreading the next school break, it might be because you are trying to do too much for your children. Let them take matters into their own hands. There is always plenty to do and you can find ways of helping your children build character while enjoying their school break with them.

Children – The World’s Most Valuable Resource

March 8th, 2011 - Category: General Parenting

Today’s blog post is going to be just a little bit different than most. Because recently, we came upon a quote that really struck a chord, so rather than give you parenting tips, we hope you won’t mind a few random thoughts about the quote.

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”
-
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

In what context this quote was spoken, we don’t know. But after reading it, here are a few of the thoughts we had:

1- Kids are great! As parents, our joy and our pleasure will come from watching our children mature and find their own place in the world. In someone’s home right now, there is a future president, a future astronaut, a scientist who will discover the cure for horrific diseases, a teacher, a nurse, or an entertainer.

2. Our responsibility to our children is one of the greatest we will ever experience. Most of us will never have the chance to make a big impact on the world. But in one way, we all affect the future by molding and shaping the lives of our children. What a challenge – to teach them how to reach their full potential and become contributing members of society.

3. We have to start now. We cannot expect our children to magically become strong, ambitious, influential people if we fail to teach them important skills at an early age. Our children will be our greatest contribution to the world…but only if we, as parents, can guide them and teach them.

If you are not using MyJobChart, we want to strongly encourage you to try it out. It was designed to help parents teach their children invaluable skills such as organization, responsibility, money-management, charity, self-motivation, and dedication.

A child’s potential cannot be measured. But you can give them a great start in achieving that potential by offering them the skills and tools they need to learn and grow.

If you are using MyJobChart, we invite you to share some of the things your kids have learned or some of the successes you’ve achieved through using MyJobChart. And if you want to brag about your kids a little bit, well, that would be great too!

Thanks to You – MyJobChart is Getting National Recognition

March 1st, 2011 - Category: Uncategorized

When Gregg Murset created MyJobChart, his goal was to find a simple way for his children to manage their chores. But once he saw the success his own family experienced, he knew he had to share MyJobChart with the world.

But it has been you, those who use MyJobChart, that have made us such a success. Thank you for spreading the word about this powerful program. Because of you, we have attracted quite a bit of attention.

Here are just a few places MyJobChart has been talked about lately:

Raising Arizona Kids – In the March issue of this Arizona magazine, there is an article about the creation and growth of MyJobChart.

Money-Minded Moms – This last week, Suze Orman, financial guru added us a resource.

Numerous Blogs – To list them all would take quite a bit of time. But we appreciate all the posts and comments that have talked about MyJobChart.

This recognition is great in helping us get the word out about MyJobChart, a free online job chart for kids. If you haven’t tried MyJobChart yet, then we encourage you to test it out. (It is free after all.)

If you’re using and loving MyJobChart then please continue to help us by telling your friends about it, blogging about it, and even posting messages on Facebook or Twitter.

Again, thank you for making this free tool an incredible success!