children's chores

I am not great at having my kids help me clean around the house and doing weekly or daily chores. My boys are very responsible. They make their beds every morning, brush their teeth, get dressed themselves and always keep their room clean, but it's the other household chores they don't often do. Not because they don't like too, but because I don't let them. They absolutely love cleaning the toilets, vacuuming and dusting so I usually try to do it when they are not around so that they won't ask to help. What's wrong with me? I'll tell you. I'm a perfectionist. I've recently realized that this is not helpful for my children. I know that I need to involve my children in the household responsibilities whether I like it or not. It is my responsibility to teach them, not to make sure they have a perfectly clean house to live in.

I have tried to establish different chore routines for our family, but none of them have worked with our lifestyle. The only day we could all clean together would be Saturday's and that is impossible with our sport schedules.

I've tried to assign my children to certain areas of the home, but they always get jealous of what somebody else is doing. Also, I've noticed that a lot of times things were getting done that didn't need to be. Therefore, I came up with a solution that I could have complete control over, but still allow the boys to help. I would chose a Daily Chore for my children. I've tried to do this before, but was always too lazy about it. I would make up silly little tasks for my kids to do just to make them feel like they were helping. However, this wasn't teaching them anything.

In order to give more responsibility to my kids and also make myself accountable to actually let them help, I typed up and laminated a bunch of chores that always need to be done around the house so that I don't have to try to come up with something off the top of my head. Each day I put up a chore on their charts depending on the needs of our home. We've been doing this for over a week and it is working out fabulous. My kids are so excited to see what their daily chore is and I am forced to pick something and have them do it. It has been more work for me right now because I have to teach them the proper way to do things, but I know this will pay off down the road. Soon enough I will have amazing little workers who can unload the dishwasher, dust the house and vacuum the floors just the way I like it {or close enough}! It's also helping me realize that letting go of control is not so bad. These boys really can help out and do a great job.

Here is how I implemented our new chore system. I made a "Vacation Countdown Calendar." We have done this every time before we've gone on a trip and it's worked so well for my kids. We are planning to go to Disneyland in June. The boys use these charts as a way to earn money for the trip. If they complete all of their "Jones POWER responsibilities" on the left side of the chart they earn a sticker for the day. Each sticker is worth 50 cents. If the boys get a sticker every single day they will be able to earn $40 to spend on the trip. If they don't earn a sticker one day, they just won't earn that money so if they choose not to do their chores one day {which has happened in the past} they just get less money. I don't have to nag my boys to do something. They have a choice. They have a reward or a consequence. It's really a best case scenario all around. Tim & I figure that we would spend at least $40 on souvenirs for them anyway. So, why not have them earn it?

Here is the chart I use to start with:

This is the Daily Chore portion that is laminated so that I can easily transfer it to future months chore charts.

I pasted the calendar on to a 12x12 card stock paper.

Then I let the boys personalize them.

Both of the boys charts hang in our kitchen near the pantry where they easily see them all day long. They are constantly reminded that they have a goal they are working towards.

My absolute favorite part of this chart is that I incorporated all 5 aspects of our family motto. I was trying to think of something I could do for "enthusiastic," I thought of things that make me happy; exercise and serving others. I added these two things to the boys chart and it's been their favorite thing. They have been sharing with each other so well. They are constantly telling me all the nice things they are doing for each other. They are also doing push-ups and sprints every night. It's pretty cute!

Now, let's see how long this lasts?


Tricia said...

great work! I only dream of having a house as clean as yours. It is not something I love to do. One idea for a chore that my kids like to do is dust baseboards/cold air returns. They always seem to need it somewhere. Just an idea for something else to add!

Patty said...

GOOD Job, Britt! Way to incorporate everything and make it FUN! Love their personalized charts!

Jensens said...

I may have to "borrow" this one. I have a hard time sticking to chores, and I also have a hard time letting my children help.

brandy said...

This post came at a perfect time! I am trying to come up with a system for my little ones right now. I really love this idea!
Do you realize that very soon you will be able to sit on the couch and put your feet up while your little helpers do all the housework! Now that's something to look forward to! :)

Becca said...

After seeing the boys charts I'm thinking that getting 3 season tickets to football games isn't such a bad idea. Pretty soon you are going to need 5!

Also, I'm going to create a chart today for my house so you can send the boys over here once they're finished at your house.

jessica.emily.adams said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I love meeting new bloggers!
You have great ideas and your boys are just adorable!

Diana said...

That is so great. I just sat down to finalize our new chore chart...we needed to update the old one. And then look what you posted about! I like the way you have a goal to work towards. Now I have something new to discuss with our family to have a goal. Thanks for the new idea!

Michelle said...

I am glad that you found a way to make this all work. I have thought a lot about this too since our lengthly conversation about it. I might steal a few of your ideas. Of couse, I will have to add feeding chickens and collecting eggs to my list. I must be crazy. Good job babe.

Andi said...

Again I need more time. I have had a list sitting next to my computer for almost two weeks of chores for my kids. I want to make a chart, but can't find the time or motivation. So, maybe I will take some of your ideas and that might help me get it done a little faster!

Alison said...

I like your attitude that your kids have a choice! I love the idea!