How you go about dividing the housework can make a big difference on your success. A chore chart for kids is a great idea. It helps them to visualize what needs to be done, as well as what their job is. It can also help them to feel like an important contributor to the family.
When making a chore chart, keep your children's age and ability in mind. For example, a three-year old may not be able to load the dishwasher, but she can help put her toys away. Along the same lines, make sure that housework is divided equally among children of a similar age. You don't want your fourteen-year old spending seven hours a week on chores while her fifteen-year old brother is doing just two. Switching jobs each week can help to keep things fair and prevent your kids from getting bored.
You can make your own chore chart, or you can print one for free from a website. Make choosing a chore chart a family event. That way, your children see their role in maintaining the household as equally important as yours. Free online chore charts can be found at:
www.freeprintablebehaviorcharts.com (charts available for ages 4-10 and 11+)
Rewards for a completed chart can be a great motivator for even the most cleaning-reluctant child. Consider what the reward will be; stickers? An allowance? Perhaps privileges, such as extra time at the park or beig able to stay up a bit later on the weekend, will keep your kids motivated.
You can make chore time something that everyone in your family does at once. This prevents one kid from feeling like she has to do everything while she listens to her siblings playing outside.
There should also be consequences for not following through with the chore chart. Make these age-appropriate and be a little bit flexible. Just like grown-ups, kids sometimes become overwhelmed or have circumstances that prevent them from being able to compete all of their jobs. If you can see this coming, you may be able to head it off by offering to help your child with her chores. You may also find that along with homework and other activities that your child does not have enough time for chores. If this is the case, don't hesitate to revamp the chore chart. Remember that the chore chart is there for your entire family's benefit and it's your job to make sure everything runs smoothly.
If parents expect kids to pitch in with chores, they instill good values about work and responsibility. In fact, maybe letting your toddler make a sandwich or fold socks is the first building block of a better world.
It is extremely important that we teach our children personal responsibility. After all, we want them to understand, fully and completely, that they are an important and productive part of the family system.