Chore charts are a great way to
organize household responsibilities, while teaching children about the
importance of team spirit and contribution. Here is some information on
how to effectively design a chore chart.
First, do some research about what kinds
of chores your children could be capable of handling. While some chores
are beyond a child's level of ability, often slight modifications may be
made for success. Make a note of the appropriate ages associated with
various types of jobs. Consider the kinds of materials you can easily
use for the chart. A whiteboard that can be erased is excellent, as it
is easy to maintain and can be used in a variety of ways.
Visual Chore Charts
Make the chore chart as visual as
possible. This will make it easier for all of your family members to
understand and also assist in accountability. Many children require a
visual prop to help them understand completely new ideas. A visual
chore chart system can also help them to stay focused. Design the chart
so that items may be physically crossed off the list.
Make designing the chart fun, using
pictures and allowing kids to choose and paste the images on the chart.
Allow your kids to help select and create the chart so they will feel
more like they are involved in making decisions and will be more likely
to own their responsibilities. Hold regular meetings to discuss the new
system. Encourage communication and allow them to make some of the
decisions as to how the system will be created, implemented and
maintained. Read all of the chores aloud so that the kids learn to
associate what the chores are called to the images on the chart.
Some kinds of jobs that are appropriate
for very young children can include helping with activities. Give each
child a "role" in something you are doing. For example, when you prepare
a family meal, let your child stir something in a bowl. Eventually, as
the child gets older, you can teach him to chop, peel and perform other
cooking tasks. Even the smallest children can be taught to pick up after
themselves and make their own beds, which are excellent ways to ease
into assigning a chore. When a child participates, acknowledge it with a
gold star or other form on the chart.
Every child should have a chore that
contributes to the household. It is easy to encourage more participation
if there are extra rewards given for extraordinary work or performance.
Include allowance as a way to teach children about payment for hard
work. This also provides an opportunity to teach kids how to handle
money. Use stickers, smileys, stars and other insignia to acknowledge
good work on the chart.
When children fail to complete their chores, there needs to be a consequence. The merit and point system is a great way to track how well a child is keeping up with chores. This can be done without making the system too harsh by gently teaching what happens when people do not follow up and do what is expected of them. Also include a way to make up for what is missed.