My middle child — a son — is turning nine years old this weekend. Nine! Years! Old! It’s pretty crazy and awesome and a little bit unbelievable. With him turning nine, it means that in two months, his younger sister will turn seven (!) and two months after that his older brother will turn eleven (!!).
We’ve always encouraged/coerced our kids into helping out around the house. They set the table, they clean up their dishes after breakfast/lunch/dinner, and they help me put away their clean clothes. They have a number of other responsibilities as well and being kids means that they can sometimes “forget” what they need to do and so my husband and I sat down this past spring and made up a chore chart.
There are different schools of thoughts on chore charts. Some people think that money/allowance should not be tied to the chore chart. The kids should learn that doing chores are part of being a family. There are others who believe that completing chores = getting paid. We’re somewhere in the middle.
There are a number of things that the kids are expected to do and there are some things that we got tired of reminding them to do, so we created the chore list. It consists of items like “brush your teeth”, “practice piano”, and “make your bed.” We laminated one for each child and they have to check off their daily chores. At the end of the week, if the chart is completed, they get $5.
Here’s why we love it:
1. There’s no nagging. The kids know they have to check all of the boxes to get that $5. Done.
2. They take ownership. They all love having their own list to be responsible for, and they find great joy in checking off items.
3. They know it’s only part of their responsibility. There are many other things expected of them that aren’t on the list, and they do them.
4. We’re teaching them responsibility. My husband and I are open with all that it takes to keep a house running. The kids know that we are doing it because we love them and we want to, but that there is a lot that goes into us getting out of the house fully clothed and in our right minds.
5. It teaches them a work ethic. I had my first job — a paper route — when I was ten. I want my kids to have that ethic where they know that if they work, they get rewarded with a sense of accomplishment … and some money to call their own.
Do you use chore charts? Why or why not?
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