When it came to chore charts, I cannot say that I was initially on board. Part of me had the feeling that chores should be completed without prompting. On the other hand, I believe that being clear about expectations is key. This is especially helpful when your little people don’t understand what they are expected to do. I finally caved and created a chore chart. I have to say that it has been pretty life-changing. If you’re considering one, here are some easy ways to get things started.
Chores Don’t Get Rewards
The whole reason I had initially found fault with many chore charts is because many of them came with a reward system. In order for our household to run effectively, we believe that each of member of the family is responsible for certain tasks. These tasks do not garner rewards. Hey mom, did you get your reward for doing the laundry? Didn’t think so. For us, the chore chart only includes things we expect each day from our daughter. Additional chores might be added as “reward chores” later, but for now we are keeping it simple.
What are the Must-Do Chores?
I decided to think about the things that we absolutely must do before leaving the house or before bedtime. Some of the tasks that my daughter was constantly struggling to complete without a great deal of prompting would have to be on the list. The best way to make this chart work was to keep it simple and focus on a few activities. In the end, I chose seven chores. Since many of these are done both before we leave the house and before bed, I could easily make one single chart work for two different times in our day. Jackpot!
Determine Necessary Features
Do you want it to be kid accessible or adult only? Do you want to use one chart for daytime and bedtime or do you prefer two separate charts? Answering these questions will help you determine what kind of chart you will need and whether or not you can make it easily. Since I only have one child, I didn’t have to worry about multiple columns or varying chores. If you did, you could easily design one template and then create one for each child with varying chores. In my case, I wanted my daughter to be very hands on with the chart, so I wanted to find something that was more hands on. I struggled with whether or not to put visuals instead of words for each of the tasks, but in the end I chose words. My hope is to continue to develop some word recognition. Obviously, using pictures would work better if your child is younger.
Location, Location, Location
After some research, I found that location is an important consideration. If most of your tasks take place in the bathroom, you might want to put your chore chart there. Since most of our tasks seem to at least start and end in the bedroom, we hung it over her closet. Using some magnetic clips, I can move the chart up and down. This makes it easy for my daughter to see it, but it is high enough so that she cannot access it without my help. In order for her to close the flaps, I have to move it to her level so that she can change or alter her completed tasks.
There are soooooo many crafty moms out there and they’re all on Pinterest. I really like to browse the options and see what I might be able to do. If it involves a Cricut and a glue gun? I’m out. If it involves some paper and scissors, I might be able to make it work. For this chore chart, I pinned a few that I thought would be helpful and kind of modified them to suit my needs. This post was particularly helpful. I didn’t want the burden of working with stickers or stars, so I chose a flap style that has been working great. The best part is that it is reusable. I’m strictly utilitarian when it comes to this stuff, but if you happen to be a crafty mom, feel free to create one with all the bells and whistles!
As with anything, consistency is key. My daughter was super excited when we started implementing the chore chart that she enjoys closing the flaps each day. If you don’t think you will stick with it, it definitely won’t be effective. If you’re pressed for time in the mornings and evenings, minimize the chores down to one or two must-do tasks so that it won’t take up too much time. You will want to really think about whether or not you are willing to do this every single day. Guess what? It’s okay if you aren’t! Chore charts aren’t for every mom or for every child.
Chore charts are meant to help streamline your life and to minimize behavioral challenges. Bottom line? Make the chore charts work for you. It isn’t meant to become a burden or source of stress. The simpler the better. If you are absolutely not interested in making anything, check out this adorable one from Amazon. I would love to see what amazing chore charts you creative mamas have come up with!