Tuesday, June 29

Children and chores

I was struggling with what to start out with this week when I opened an email from Stacy suggesting I blog about chores and allowance…what a great idea…so here is my two cents worth on chores…(I will share about allowance tomorrow)

Jeff and I decided early on that we didn’t want to have chores and allowance connected. I think it was Dave Ramsey who inspired this line of thinking and it made sense to us. Basically doing age appropriate chores are just part of being part of a family…making your bed, keeping your room clean, brushing your teeth, setting the table…are all things we each do as members of a family and should not have monetary value. It is everyone doing their part to help our home run smoothly. While it is easy to say this…we needed a way to help remind our girls each day what their responsibilities were. So I made these adorable chore charts for our hallway.

On the top ten circles there is room to write each child’s chores. Then the bottom ten circles are little magnets that the girls move to cover the chore once it is done for the day. Then at night all the magnets are moved back to the bottom. This chart worked for about the first two weeks, then we realized that, while cute, it wasn’t very functional for us. My girl’s needed something more hands-on and a little more in your face for lack of a better term. I just happened upon Stacy Julian’s blog and copied her idea of a small clipboard with a list of chores for each child.

I set them out on the table every morning and they check off each chore after it is completed. So far it has worked really well of us. The girl’s love carrying around the clipboard and leaving little notes for me at the bottom of them.

One other thing that I would like to stress is to give yourself a little slack…if something isn’t working for you and your family, change it. Something may work for a while and then become more of a burden. Remember why you are doing something. I desire to teach my girls to do their part in our family…if I get caught up in the cute chore charts I have missed the point…I think as mothers we often look around and think we should be doing things just like someone else. Sometimes that works, other times it becomes a burden. Remember to think of the purpose, keep the end goal in mind…how you get there doesn’t matter as much as actually getting there. I would love to hear your ideas of keeping track of daily chores…you know me and ideas…


Katy said...

Betsy, I've used SJ's clipboards for my kids as well! It worked out great for us...and then eventually didn't. I try to keep in mind that the goal is to build a habit! So sometimes we need 'props' (for lack of a better word) to help us build the habits. I also find that I expect more around the house during the summer months (from my children) so I usually have to re-do our system at least a few times/year.

In the past I used a smaller clipboard (4x4) in tandem with a daily list--my kids' birthdays are on even/odd days so that is how we split many things. One side had a list of 'home blessing' jobs to be done on even days; the other side for odd days. I've been thinking about bringing this system back into action!

Another thing I did for my family was to come up with a "typical day" schedule for the summer...this was an interesting exercise (we came up with it together @ a family meeting). Personally I feel like there is no such thing as a typical day during the summer months! ;) But it gave a loose structure to our days. I think school-aged kids often think summer is a time to 'just relax' but that's rarely as fun as they expect it to be (nor is it realistic)! As well, the constant requests for friend time needed some boundaries.

Anyway--very rambling thoughts but I'm always drawn to this topic! Agree with you on not tying allowance to chores...but we do allow the opportunity to earn money by doing extra work.

Anonymous said...

Great comment, Katy...keep em coming:)