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Divas: How to make a kid’s chore chart that works

Summertime and the living is easy, right? Or it would be if you could get the kiddies to willingly help around the house.

It’s so much work to get them to do their chores that it’s easier to do them ourselves, but that’s missing the point! It’s not really about making the bed.

Chore charts teach kids self-discipline, time management, to be a contributing member of the family and eventually how to run their own households, but most importantly – that reward comes from work.

Making a chore chart, or Daily Routine, lets you determine what they need to do but makes them responsible for doing it. You’re no longer the nagging parent asking for the same things every stinking day. Now you are the benevolent parent dispensing rewards for good behavior. See the difference?

While being part of a household requires that everyone chip in, a reward is a powerful motivator. Children don’t need a monetary reward, especially if funds are tight. Reward with points that accumulate toward a goal. A reward can be a fun activity, time with friends, or my favorite: screen time! Access to TV or video games can be a tremendous motivator for kids of all ages.

Likewise, there needs to be consequence for not keeping their responsibilities. If they don’t do the work, don’t give them the reward, no matter what. The bottom line is – the reward comes from work.

Add academics to the list. Kids get a little too relaxed (read: lazy) over the summer. Many forget what they learned in school as they zombie out playing games and watching television. Keep learning on track with daily reading time, journaling, and a daily math problem.

How to create a Daily Routine. Create morning and evening routines specific to each child that are age-appropriate and include personal grooming, along with household tasks.

Explain the task, how and when they should do it. Start simple, with two or three tasks, and add on as time goes by. Learning how to do chores takes time so be patient as you’re teaching these important skills.

Age-appropriate task progression:

Preschool – Even toddlers can pick up toys and put dirty clothes in the hamper. Ages 3-4, with help, can straighten a bed, put clothes in the dryer, dust, and help older siblings. Use symbols on charts rather than words for prereaders.

Ages 5-8 – with supervision: feed pets, make bed, pick up and put away clothes, set and clear the table, empty dishwasher, sweep and vacuum.

Ages 9-12 – empty and refill the dishwasher, fold laundry, assist with meal preparation, clean bathrooms, mop floors.

Ages 13+ – Do their own laundry and assist in laundering family towels and bedding, emptying and taking the trash to the curb, clean out the car, wash the car, yard work and all general housekeeping.

Consistency is key here, what doesn’t get done one day will get done another day. If there’s one thing for sure about housework – it’ll be there again tomorrow. Relax and have fun. After all it’s your summer, too.

To make it easier for my readers, I’m giving FREE downloadable chore charts available on our new website- www.divasonadime.com all weekend. Thanks for reading!

Contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com

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