The weather is getting colder and your family is filling up hampers with sweaters, jackets, pants and everything else they weren’t wearing a couple of months ago. Thanksgiving is this week and just a few weeks from now Christmas will be here. Add the holiday breaks from school and your home is becoming a little disordered.
What’s making it worse is your darling children aren’t completing chores without nagging or without them whining and claiming to be sick, hurt, sleepy or tired. When they do finally begin they wander away as soon as you’re distracted.
These six suggestions will help you get a handle on kids and chores. Hopefully, you’ll see a marked improvement in chore completion without ‘crazy mom’ showing up:
You can purchase one or create your own, make a large one or separate charts per child. With something tangible to follow and complete kids will feel responsible and accomplished. When my son was about 5 years old I tried Melissa & Doug Responsibility Chart, a 90-piece magnetic set that is very effective for young children.
Right now we’re using ChoreMonster.com. It’s easy-to-use and allows you to enter chores, determine point values per chore and assign rewards that can be earned by cashing in points. You have complete approval and rejection power, and children get to play with virtual monsters they earn. That part is controlled by the system and complete access to the carnival is only with paid subscription.
This is different from responsibility charts. You’ll need poster board, stickers and colorful markers. Years ago, I created one with three columns and six rows then wrote each child’s name in different colors. I listed chores and indicated days they should be completed then surrounded it with colorful words and pictures. This garnered positive reactions from my children; they liked this almost as much as they like Chore Monster.
Some children need verbal reinforcement. For example, after your pre-schooler picks up toys tell her how pleased you are and ask if she’s proud of herself. Elementary ages appreciate a hug, tickle and pat on the back with “Good job.” Teenagers pretend they don’t need verbal reinforcement, but don’t let them fool you.
Is there a special relationship your child has with a family member or trusted friend? Ask that person if they’ll do something for or with the child when his chores are completed. Your little one won’t want to disappoint them.
Some little people become bored with one system so try incorporating different ways for completing chores. You can obtain a small notebook and write on the front “pick a number from 1 to 10.” After your child picks the number he turns to the corresponding page where you’ve written how he’ll perform his chores that day. It can be something as silly as do all of your chores backwards. Let them interpret how that plays out.
Disclaimer: You know I can’t really guarantee your kids won’t drive you crazy, right? It’s a lovely thought, but they’ll find something else – besides avoiding chores – to accomplish that task. 🙂
Good luck and happy parenting.
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