Introducing A Chore Chart
In the world of moms and dads in the Bright Horizons community, there is no shortage of discussion on chores. Bright Horizons educators posted an article on How to Involve Your Child in Chores back in March 2011. Another Bright Horizons blogger wrote a piece on Chores & Allowance. And there have been many postings to our community website from “When to introduce and allowance, for what and how much” to “Earning allowance for chores, any tips for parents” to a post requesting Chore Suggestions. There’s a lot to read and learn on this topic which of course is what I did before I introduced chores in my family.
I was inspired by these postings along with some things I saw on Pinterest. One pin lead me to The Baeza Blog which then lead me to the Esty Shop for Distressed Beautiful and by the end of the day, I had purchased a chore chart.
The chart I purchased was slightly different from the one offered here. The difference was that I could write out the chores and the dollar amounts (note: some minor crafting was involved including a bottle of Mod Podge). I like being able to choose the chores as it gives me the chance to make some decisions on what my kids will have on the chart as well as what they will earn. Plus as they get older, I can change what the chores are and the dollar amounts.
The concept for this chore chart is pretty straight forward. The kids get to pick their chore from the top and when it’s complete they get to move the magnet to their name block. (My kids LOVE this part). The chart came with 10 magnets so we decided to have each chore be worth $.50. This way each of our two children can earn $2.50 a week which we pay out on Sundays. On “pay day” we count out the chores and talk about the value of a quarter vs. a dollar. It’s probably a little over their head but at least I’m introducing the language.
The challenge with the chart (at least in my house) is that each chore needs to be listed twice so each child can do the chore (to avoid fights). So with 10 wooden magnet spots we have the following 5 chores: Feed the Dog, Set The Table, Make Your Bed, Clean Your Bedroom and Clean the Playroom. That also means that with 2 children, once a child completes “set the table” there are 5 more nights where I end up having to do it. And since my kids are not big fans of making their beds, there’s been only one week where we’ve “paid” out for this.
Despite my best efforts, the chart has caused some fighting among my kids… “I wanted to feed the dog tonight!! That’s not fair!” or “I was going to set the table!!!” There are even nights my kids arrive home from school mad that I did a chore (hello, dog whimpering at my feet, what am I supposed to do?) Overall it’s been a good introduction to chores though. I do especially love the “Feed the dog” chore. The kids never helped with this one before and I have to say it’s super cute to watch them balance the bowl of food from the counter to the floor. And early this week, after four days in a row home due to Hurricane Sandy, my daughter cleaned the playroom. This was an incredible undertaking and I was SO proud of her after it was done (and done pretty well). I bought some extra wooden circles at AC Moore so I can add more chores (well, more of the same chore like set the table). For now, I think this works great for the age my kids are at. Next concept will be teaching them about what to do with their allowance: spend, save, give…