We have tried LOTS of different chore charts and chore systems for motivating our children to take care of themselves, their belongings, and our home. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to have a lot of success in this area, probably because we as parents didn't always follow through with consequences for lack of completion. In the past we have paid our children an allowance every two weeks that was not attached to any responsibilities, they got it simply for being our children (Don't judge me 😛 ), but recently, I had an epiphany and decided to change things up.
- I picked up some small magnetic white boards (dry erase boards) that stick to the refrigerator with magnets.
- I cut some small round circles out of thick colored cardboard, and wrote down all the responsibilities and chores that I expected for each child. (One on each circle)
- Then I hot glued a small round magnet to the back of each.
Now each child has a board with magnets on it, that keep track of what we expect from them each day.
I covered up their jobs because I didn't want to embarrass my kids by some of the things I have to actually remind them to do. The amount of magnets aren't equal because their lists are geared to each one individually.
- So, in the morning every magnet starts on the left side of the board in the "to do" column.
- As they take care of their responsibilities, they move the magnets over to the right side.
- This is only part of our system...We decided to no longer give them an "allowance," but at the end of each day, right before bed, if they've completed everything on their chart, they get $1.
This has worked so beautifully for us. I don't have to nag them to practice piano, brush their teeth or clean their room, etc...AND they have money to buy some of the little things that they want. The instant gratification of the money each night has seemed to be the right amount of incentive.
Now, if there is repeated disregard for what we have asked them to do, the lack of money would not be the only consequence, but so far we have not had to deal with that. If we did, I would probably take away computer/video games or other privileges.
The idea behind this is very flexible, you could use any number of items to construct fancier chore charts, and the type of items you could put on here could be whatever your particular child needs to be reminded of:
- hygiene items
- household chores
- music lesson practice
- limits on computer/video game time
- school work
(I tried to keep the number of items on the board down to the most specific things for each child.)
If one of the items is time sensitive, like you want them to do it specifically in the morning, just add that to the description.
I hand wrote all of my little discs, but if you have a label maker or cricut...you could make them really fancy. Also, you could use whatever amount of money works for your family budget and motivates your kids. You could also hand out vouchers for something rewarding instead of money, but this has worked for us, and sufficiently motivated the kids to keep track of, and follow through on their responsibilities.
In a perfect world we all wouldn't need the extra incentive, and I would love to say that our kids do everything we ask without "forgetting" or complaining, just out of complete respect for us, but we're all human, and they are learning that most financial rewards come from work, and if they want something, they can save for it.
I'm certainly not saying this is the perfect solution for everyone, but it has significantly cut down on the nagging and stress in our house. 🙂