How to Create a Chore Plan for Children
If you’ve implemented a chore system with your children you already understand the importance of children doing chores. If you are like me, then you might be hesitant to assign chores to your children until they can do things by themselves without making a bigger mess than they started with!
I played around with the idea of chores for my children for years. I was never successful at implementing a lasting plan because I did not enforce it. Part of me understood well that children need chores. In fact, while working as a Marriage and Family Therapy intern, I would encourage parents to set up a chore system with their children for the benefit of the child and the parent. And, I’d leave the office and come home to a pile of dishes and laundry that I was certain only I had the skill to tackle.
Does Perfectionism Keep You From Giving Your Children Chores?
The truth about children is that you have to patiently teach and reteach life skills. This applies to everything from how we treat others to developing good habits to chores. You can’t tell them once and expect them to do it perfectly from then on. If you think that parenting works that way or that children are being disobedient when they forget something you just told them two minutes ago, you’re sorely unprepared for parenting!
When the boys were younger it was easier for me to simply do the chores myself instead of teaching them to do chores correctly. However, I’d always hear my advice to other parents in my head reminding me how important chores were for helping the boys to establish important life-long habits and life skills.
Here are the steps I took to create a chore plan for my children:
Put Children in Charge of Their Own Space
I put the boys in charge of their own space. This includes doing their own laundry, washing their bedding once a week or as needed, cleaning their own rooms, and vacuuming their floors once a week or as needed.
Decide Which Household Chores You Need the Most Help With
For me it was dishes, folding laundry, cleaning the children’s bathroom and cleaning the dining room that doubles as our school room. Depending on the number of children you have, you can throw in a couple of other chores to keep things even or fair. I included the small, but necessary jobs of tidying the living room and having one child each evening to be responsible for making sure the bathroom was tidy before going to bed.
Should You Reward Children for Doing Chores?
You have to decide if doing chores will result in rewards or an allowance for your children or if they are simply expected to do chores because they are part of the family. We do not reward our children for chores. In fact, we are trying to break the habit of rewards altogether. (But don’t pity them. We don’t punish our children either.)
Use a Chore System that Works For Your Family
Choose a chore system. In the past, we have used My Job Chart and it’s a great system. If you choose to use rewards, My Job Chart helps you keep up with those. Even though My Job Chart isn’t what we are using right now it is an excellent and FREE system to use. I highly recommend it!
Now that my boys are a pre-teen and teenagers, we don’t need any formal system. They just know what they have to do each day and they do it. We used to use a simple chore chart (or rather three, one for each boy) that lists the chores and has a check mark under the days that the child is scheduled to perform that task. I found our chore charts at Target less than $10. They look something like this chore chart one I found on Amazon:
Divide the Chores Among Your Children
Be Prepared to Continue to Help Your Children Do Their Chores
Relax and Enjoy Your Free Time and Clean Home
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