Thursday, January 19, 2017

How I Got My Kids To DO Their Chores

My kids are getting older and I was feeling like they were starting to take advantage of the fact that I am a stay at home Mom.  They are pretty good kids, but they started leaving more and more messes.  So, my husband and I decided it was time for more chores.  However, they were even slacking on their chores doing the bare minimum.  I would ask why they didn't dust or something, and they would say "I didn't know that was part of the chore!"  The worst was they weren't getting their chores done the day they were suppose to.  This is all in the last year or two.  Well, I have never paid my children an allowance.  I always believed doing chores was part of being able to live in a home.  We all make messes, we all clean up!  So, I decided I needed to tackle this problem head on, or I knew this would cause a daily battle. 

I thought of each problem I was starting to have with my girls:

  1. They weren't getting their chores done the day they were assigned.
  2. They were only doing the bare minimum.
  3. They thought since I was home all day, I should do all the cleaning. 

Let's just say we had a very heated conversation about problem #3.

They said, "We have to go to school, that's like our work!"  

I said, "You go to school to better yourselves, and provide a future for yourselves, because you aren't living with me!  We aren't raising rebound babies!  The better you do at school, the better job you will be able to get.  When you grow up, move out, and have your own place, you will have to go to work and come home to clean and cook.  You will also have to take care of children and have many other responsibilities.  Bottom line is if you want to live here, you will do your share of the chores.  You help make the mess, you help clean it up!"

I have always thought children who don't have chores are being neglected of learning responsibility.  This is a big problem in today's society.

I came up with a chore book for each child.  This chore book was theirs for one month, at which time they would trade with their sister for a different chore book.  I have three children, so I made three chore books.  I later decided to make a master chore book for myself, so I knew who to get after if something wasn't done.

The chore books were made in a 3-ring binder with a clear slip sleeve cover.  Inside the cover was a paper saying which chore book it was, and which child it was for that month.  Inside the chore book were daily chores outlined in detail, with boxes to check when each part of the chore was complete.  This was to tackle problem #2 they were only doing the bare minimum.  Each day was in a clear page protector, so they could write and erase with a wet erase marker (we liked it better than dry erase). 

Each child had a daily dinner/kitchen chore, pet chore, and cleaning chore.

I decided to start paying my kids a small allowance.  However, this allowance had strict rules.  If you did your chore the day it was assigned you got paid a $.25.  If you put it off until tomorrow, you still had to do the chore, but you didn't get paid.  If by the following day you still hadn't done your chore, you owed me $.25 and you still had to do it. If the chore was never completed they owed $1.00. Depending on how much money you want your kids to be able to earn you could set the amount accordingly.  I know, some people think I'm cheap, but remember my kids weren't getting an allowance before this chore book.  The allowance really is just an incentive to get their chores done on time, problem #1.

I also listed bonus chores.  If they wanted to make extra money, they could ask to do one of the bonus chores listed.

At the end of the book was a chore settlement sheet.  At the end of the month we go over the settlement sheet together.  We add up all the positive $.25 for the chores that were done on time and all the -$.25 for all the chores that were late.  We reach a agreed upon settlement and they get paid.

Chore Book #1 

Sunday is our day of rest. 

Wednesday is busy at our house,
so it's a day off or checkup on chores.

Chore Book #2

Sunday is our day of rest. 

Wednesday is busy at our house,
so it's a day off or checkup on chores.

Chore Book 3

Sunday is our day of rest. 

Wednesday is busy at our house,
so it's a day off or checkup on chores.

Everyone's home is different and what chores you actually want your kids to do are different, so I hope you use this as a guideline to come up with a plan in your home.  It has worked great in our home, but I admit one child still struggles.  But, they can't say they didn't know what was expected of them.  Chores can be a struggle, but they are essential to raising well rounded responsible children.

Let us know if this has helped you, or if you have a great plan that works in your home.

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