Have you started implementing a chore system for your kids yet? After some serious deliberation (and then a whole lot of trial and error) we found a chore chart system that really works for our family. We’ve used this system for a couple of years now, I would say it works for kids ages 3 and up. Shall I share?
Family Duty vs. Chores
One of the first steps for us was deciding which household duties are just expected of the kids (and adults). Things like cleaning their rooms, unpacking their backpacks, picking up the toys when they’re done; these are things we expect them to do as contributing members of our family. We don’t consider these chores… and they do not warrant a payment.
Other jobs that would normally be mine or Dad’s are handed out with pay. A good rule that I follow is to ask “Does it take something off my list or Dad’s list? Does this help us in some way?” If so then we considered it a chore and payout usually depends on the size of the job.
At our house family duties are not optional, chores are. An example is laundry day. I sort, wash, dry and fold all of the clothes. Folded clothes are all stacked on my bed. Every member of the family is responsible for putting away their own clothes. If one of the kids wants to help with the sorting, switching the loads or folding, they are paid according to the amount of work.
Big M is far more interested in earning money than Little M. She could really care less, so her chore chart is often empty. That is why the family duty arrangement works so well. I know she’s contributing but she feels like she has a choice.
The easiest way we found to track the money M and M have earned is with a sticker chart that hangs on our fridge. I just updated ours to look a little nicer. I made them print outs for you while I was at it. We slide it into a clear page protector so that the stickers can be removed easily.
Both kids have their own chart and their own set of stickers. For now, each sticker is worth 25¢. As the kids get older and jobs pay more the sticker amount will probably increase. M and M are in charge of placing their own stickers. If they do a job, they are responsible for making sure they get credit for it. That was mostly because I was terrible at remembering. When the chart is full (or someone is ready for a payout) we have them count up how much we owe them and they remove the stickers.
The chore chart offers me a great place to reward awesome behavior too. Once in a while they will get an extra sticker for doing an exceptional job on one of their family duties. I always make it clear that the payment is for their positive attitude or extra care to detail rather than payment for the job.
Before you head off to check out the awesome chore posts below, take a minute to let us know how chores look at your house! Are you using a chore chart? Do you pay your kids for work they do around the house?
6 Chore Posts from 20 Must follow Moms on Pinterest (Are you following our Pin Board? You should be!)
Chores for kids – Kids Activities Blog provides a great list of chores and responsibilities for kids. They’ve even divided it by age group from 2 – 14 years old!
Toddler Talk: Helping - Hands On: As We Grow shares fun ways to get toddlers helping in the house and outside!
Chores for kids: Preschool and Kindergarten Addition – Finding chores that the kids love is how Kid Stuff World handles family responsibility. She has even provided a printable list of chores sorted by rooms of the house.
Scratch-Off Chore Chart – No Time For Flash Cards makes picking chores really fun with a home made scratch-off chore chart.
10 Chores to do with your Toddler - Creative with Kids has a great time including her toddler in the cleaning process.
Chore List App for Kids – Modern Parents Messy Kids uses technology to help kids keep track of which chores they’ve done and which chores they need to do.