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. Chores 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 each chore, they 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 that each designated job was completed. Just like our to-do lists, your child will find great satisfaction in being able to check off each chore as it’s completed and take pride knowing that they accomplished a set task or a list of tasks. 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 discuss the rewards for accomplishing each task listed. Perhaps at your home you decide you will give a set sum for each task accomplished. If you should decide to grant your child some sort of monetary allowance, make sure it’s age appropriate and granted on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is 50 cents per year of age. So if your child is eight years old, they would earn $4.00 per week if each chore on the list has been completed. If it hasn’t been, they don’t receive their allowance.
This is a great 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 their 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 has been saved, how much has been 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 you set clear parameters for your child. Be sure 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’d 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.