September 19th, 2011 - Category: Charts
The kids are back in school. And if you’re like most parents, that means time to re-evaluate everything from schedules, to extra-curricular activities, to job charts. What worked during the summer is certainly not going to work now. But, as you spend time reviewing your children’s chore chart, take a minute to decide what your motivation is. That will help you determine what chores to put on the list, and which to leave off.
For some parents, kids’ schedules are already so hectic, they’d rather spend an extra hour a day with their kids rather than giving their kids more chores to do. For other families, parents struggle to manage the house on their own. They need their children to take on extra responsibilities.
Everyone’s situation is different. But once you’ve determined your motivation – what you need accomplished – you’ll be able to create a job chart that works well for your family. But here are a few words of warning:
If your motivation is spending more time with your kids…try to avoid going too light on the chores. Taking out the trash, though important, is not enough to teach your child to be responsible. Half an hour of chores each day should still leave you plenty of time together.
If your motivation is keeping the house well cared for…try to avoid overwhelming your children. If there are too many things on the to-do list, your children may develop a Cinderella complex. Be fair. Let them help you. But remember that they are still children. They need time for homework and play.
If your motivation is to teach them responsibility…you might want to add a few challenging chores. Again, don’t overwhelm them with work, but a single task that requires some effort (like making dinner) should be your starting point on your chore chart.
If your motivation is to teach them financial responsibility…consider assigning chores with varying rewards. For example, mowing the lawn might be worth 20 points whereas taking out the trash is worth two. Then, let your children pick and choose which of their assigned chores to do and when. This will help them learn to manage their time. Just be sure you have some way of getting all the chores completed.
Here’s one more parting thought…share your motivation with your family. Let your children know why you selected the chores you did. Let them know what you expect them to achieve and why. Children are often more helpful when they understand why they are being asked to help. Then, when situations come up later (and they always come up), you can simply remind your child why their contribution is so important to your family.
Creating a chore chart is never easy. You’ve got to determine who does what, when, and what their compensation will be. It takes a lot of effort. But if you create a chore chart based on something concrete, your task will be much easier.