Kids need responsibility. If you want your child to grow up to be a conscientious, productive adult, he needs the tools to make that happen. Assigning chores to kids should begin at an early age. When a child has the opportunity to help around the house, he learns to work as part of a team, and to be accountable.
A chore chart is a great tool to help kids learn responsibility and have fun while doing it.
The key to success when you are developing the plan is the reward system you choose. Rewards do not have involve money or material things. In fact, most children prefer non-tangible rewards, such as a kite-flying day in the park, family game nights, or picnics in the living room while watching a movie. Use your imagination to come up with rewards that will motivate your kids, based on their interests and ages.
How to Get Started
Several on-line sites have free templates for almost any type of chart you need. Some of them have generic chore charts based on the age of the child, and others have blank templates that you can fine-tune for your own family. If you decide to make your own chart, just crank up your creativity and get started. Talk to your kids about the chore chart, and ask for their input. If they help you design the chart, it will be easier to help them follow through with the plan.
Keep it Simple
The chart doesn’t have to be complicated. If your children are very young, it’s best to start with 2 or 3 chores that are easy to manage. A toddler can pick up his toys and put them in the toy box, put his dirty clothes in the hamper and help set the table. Using pictures will help him understand what he is supposed to do. Use stickers, happy faces and stars to keep track of progress and motivate your little helper.
Increase Responsibility as Children Get Older
Add chores that correspond with the child’s age. Older kids can vacuum, clean bathrooms and do dishes. If they like the outdoors, they can rake leaves, pull weeds or use the blower to clean sidewalks, patios and porches. Teach them to use the washer and dryer, or to load the dishwasher.
Use simple rewards and positive praise for a job well done. Kids need to feel appreciated for their contribution to the family. Most of all make it fun. Kids love music, so let them turn up the volume while they’re working.
The chore chart is a way for families work together to keep the household running smoothly. Teaching your child about responsibility is the greatest gift you can give him. He may resist at first, but persistence pays off. It may take a while, but one day your child will thank you for the life lessons you share with him.