Now that I’ve made it through 2 months of morning sickness, it’s time to take back control of the children and the house! Actually, there were some areas that needed improvement even before I was sick… Owen (our youngest) is a pretty high maintenance child. Because of his reflux, eating is a very low priority for him. Breakfast is his worst meal and can easily take 30-45 minutes. We have a morning routine (and a more structured one during the school year), but the boys tend to get way off track while I’m feeding Owen.
- The boys waste a lot of time playing and fighting while Mom feeds Owen and rarely put away their pj’s, etc. until Mom is available to make them do it.
- The boys have too much free time in which to fight, get into trouble, etc.
- The boys could use some improvement on their work ethic.
Jordan and I discussed the issues, and he came up with these neat charts! (click on them to view them larger)
Gresham’s chart (he is 4, turning 5 in Oct.) is all pictures since he is mostly a non-reader. He is responsible for getting dressed, putting away his pajamas, brushing his teeth, making his bed, practicing violin, helping with clean-up after each meal, feeding the dog, and emptying the bathroom trashcans each day (to keep the dog out of the trash…).
Aidan has the same daily responsibilities, but instead of having the same chores each day (feeding the dog and emptying trash cans), he has chores that rotate. On Monday, he brings in the trash carts from the street, cleans junk out of the van, and helps with laundry. On Tuesday, he sweeps the hard floors and vacuums the living room, etc.
As far as implementing these charts goes, we have two types of children in our house…
Gresham is very motivated by the chart. He likes checking things off. He didn’t know how to make his bed before this, but has happily embraced learning how. At his age, I am not expecting him to remember to do all of his chores, but he happily does them when I remind him.
Aidan is very unmotivated. He is a high-energy guy, but doesn’t like to do things that aren’t fun (Don’t we all feel that way! Too bad that lifestyle doesn’t work). I have been giving him some reminders, but the way we are handling this is that if his tasks are not done by afternoon TV time (while I make dinner), he may not watch the shows but must instead do his chores. Also, if they are not done by the time we are eating dinner, he has to finish them first before he eats. So far, he has only had a late dinner once!
The main benefit for me is that I can quickly glance at the charts and see how we are doing with getting our tasks done. I really want my boys to learn to be disciplined and consistent with their work, and hopefully this will help us!
What suggestions do you have about getting kids to do their chores?