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Chore Solution for Young Children — 6 Comments

  1. I am sooooo not knocking the chore list idea for those of you who choose to use it. However, after a few failed attempts at one ourselves, it occurred to both my husband and I that neither of us had had chore reminders as children, and he comes from a larger family to boot. We just train them on what they are supposed to be doing from an early age with no ‘major’ chores being assigned until the age of seven, when I’ve found the average child to be mentally and physically capable of taking on bigger responsibilities. Then it becomes more of attitude training than chore training, honestly. :-) Each child has their various chores that are done daily with a few chores that are on an ‘as needed’ basis. For the ‘as needed’ chores, I use the white board in the kitchen and they erase it upon completion. We also do not give payment/allowance for chores. Not because we don’t agree with it, but because we have extraordinarily strong-willed children and it tends to complicate things. We pay for extra chores (mowing the lawn, unsupervised babysitting), but not ones that are a part of contributing to basic needs of family life (washing dishes, laundry, vacuuming). I have found that simple, simple, simple works best for us and the chore charts/cards just never seemed to do that. I should throw in that I work one-on-one with training my toddlers on basic dressing, making beds, etc until they’ve mastered it. It’s a bit more time consuming but works best for our family of ‘push the limits til they scream for mercy’ children.

    • You make some good points, and that is great that you manage well without the help of lists. It is always good to hear how other families do things!

      For me, though, having these things streamlined and written down helps me immensely. If you notice, the “chores” on my 4 year old’s list includes such things as brushing teeth and combing her hair. Of course we train our children in how to do chores, but as a mother of ten, I would quickly tire of my own voice if I needed to remind everyone daily of every responsibility. :) I am also prone to forget things myself; tracking the responsibilities of a large family is more than I can do without a list to help me! This is the same reason I use clipboards and lists in our homeschool. The lists provide reminders for the children, but by no means does it replace me as one who teaches them, checks up on them, and holds them accountable.

      We do not pay children for chores either. If you look closely, Dad Dollars are not real dollars. They are roughly the size of monopoly money and have my husband’s picture on it. It is part of a rewards system we use. We only pay our children real money for things outside the realm of regular chores, such house painting projects, teaching music lessons, babysitting for more than an hour or so, etc.

  2. This is exactly what I have been waiting for, this looks like it would work great! I have a few questions though. I do not actually allow any of my children to get the toothbrushes and toothpaste because they often use way too much toothpaste and it ends up all over the place. Having it on their own list of things to do sounds great because I am very tired of sitting in the bathroom with the cup of toothbrushes and toothpaste and calling each child out one at a time. This sounds super silly but how old are your children when they can just go and brush their own teeth? I also have to brush both our girls hair, my oldest daughter is almost 4, do your little girls brush their own hair? I feel really silly for asking these things, but would appreciate your advice :) Also do you ever put school stuff on the chore charts? I would like to be able to have my boys start on school in the morning if they are ready even if I am not. We are having a baby mid september, so we dont plan to start school until october but it would be nice to have this all figured out before hand. Thank you so much

    • I hope it helps!

      In answer to your questions…
      Sometimes the kids brush by themselves, and sometimes I do it, just to be sure it is being done well! :) I keep the younger kids’ toothbrushes in my own bathroom, and that helps. When I brush their teeth, I do as you do, call them in and do everyone in a row.

      My 4 year old girl does comb her own hair. Some days I will braid it, etc., but most days she does pretty well combing it herself. I actually have to help my 12 year old more often because her hair is so thick. For your daughter, you could let her try, and see how she does. My toddler (who is almost two) likes to experiment with combs and toothbrushes, and although she still needs help, it is good practice.:)

      I don’t put school on the chore packs, but I think it should work fine!