Chores. . . .Yep, we said it! If your house is anything like mine this is possibly one of the worst words I could say to my family, husband included. I have been wrestling with the idea of chore charts for a while now, my kids are now 7, 5, and 14 months. I just never really knew a good way to implement them and reward them for completing the chores. Honestly, it seemed like I spent more time reminding them about their chores, then it would take for me to just "do it myself," and on top of that I did not want them to feel like we never did anything "fun" anymore. So, I decided with two in school and me working more outside the home it was time to get something figured out. After a little research from WebMD, Focus on the Family, and some other not so helpful websites, this is what I have learned:
First off, it is important to identify between life skills and an actual chore. A life skill are those processes that are imperative for a child/teen to learn prior to living on their own so they may be a successful adult. A chore on the other hand is an activity or process that benefits the entire household. Make since? So brushing teeth would be considered a life skill vs dusting is considered an actual chore. It is very helpful to have a list of both life skills and chores to remind the children of what our expectations are for them as well as help the morning and evening routines flow a little smoother. Experts suggest being cautious when tying allowances to chore for younger children because for them the concept of money is not usually fully developed and they can actually be less motivated. For older children it is recommended to have "extra" weekly or monthly chores they can choose to take part in to earn extra money.
Another common idea from the various articles I read was to take into careful consideration the age of your children before assigning tasks. You want the chores to build confidence in the younger children that they can do things on their own. I found this handy list of chores and skills listed by age group:
2-3 years old: Help make bed, pick up toys, dust, take dirty laundry to hamper, help care for pets.
4-5 years old: They can dress themselves, make their own bed, help with setting the table, match socks up on laundry day, carry light groceries, and feed pets alone.
6-7 years old: Write thank you notes, pick out cloths for the day, put away laundry on own, empty trash, put away most dishes, and help fold laundry.
8-11 years old: *This age group greatly benefits from family charts. They can wake up using their own alarm clock, learn to use washer and dryer, test smoke alarms.
12-13 years old: They can change light bulbs, change their own bed sheets, and help with yard work.
Here are some cute Ideas on how to post your list for the kids to have easy access to: