It can be very frustrating to ask your child over and over again to complete their chores without them ever getting done. If this describes your house to a T, consider designing a chore chart. Tasks might include taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, cleaning their room, helping with the preparation of family meals, doing yard work, or organizing laundry. Each chore can be done just once or twice a week. (Anything more is unrealistic.) After your child completes a task, he or she can put a check mark on the chore chart. At the end of each week, it’s very inspiring for both parent and child to look at the chore chart and easily see each completed designated job. Just like our to-do lists, your child will find great satisfaction in being able to check off each chore as it’s finished and take pride knowing that they accomplished a set task or list. Additionally, teaching your children basic life skills from an early age is invaluable.
Once you’ve sat down with your child and discussed and designed a chore chart, it’s time to review the rewards for accomplishing each task listed. Perhaps in your home, you decide you will give a set sum for each completed job. If you should choose to grant your child a monetary allowance, make sure it is age-appropriate and awarded on a regular basis. A good place to start is 50 cents per year of age. So if your child is eight years old, he or she would earn $4.00 per week for completed chores. If all of the tasks on the list haven’t been done, they don’t receive their allowance.
Following is an excellent opportunity for you to teach your children the value of both earning and saving money, as well as giving back. Perhaps your child can divide his or her allowance into thirds: 1/3 to spend, 1/3 to save, and 1/3 to use to help those less fortunate than themselves. You might also want to consider designing a ‘bank book’ for each portion of the allowance and tuck each into three separate coffee cans or money jars, and that way you and your child will be able to keep track of how much is in savings, how much is spent, and how much of their allowance has gone to help someone else.
Should you decide to use non-monetary incentives as compensation, be sure to set clear parameters for your child. It’s important they understand that two hours each weekend of their favorite video game or going to see a movie is only earned by completing the chore list successfully each week. Consider writing these on a slip of paper as ‘currency’ for your child to keep in their ‘privilege bank,’ and they can cash it in with you when they would like.
Regardless of the method you choose, keep in mind that using a chore chart in your home can be a valuable tool for both you and your child.