The topic: Chores and teaching Kids ResponsibilityAs Mom's we want the best for our kids. We want them to have fabulous opportunities to grow into amazing individuals with so much to offer the world when they become adults. I want my kids to be smart, independent, responsible, reliable, honest, faithful, and still know how to have a good time. I could add and add and add to my list of things I hope for my kids but ultimately I want them to grow up to be who they want to be. Hopefully the things they learn while they are still with me will rub off a little and hopefully make them a good person not a crazy one...
We have used varying charts over the years and this one is a combination of several different ones. For some reason this version seems to be the one that works for us. Check it out and change/adapt it to what will work for you and your family.
The great thing about this is that it has taken out the nagging and the arguing. I hated constantly reminding the kids to get ready at night or before the bus. To pick clothes up off the floor or to put their shoes away. It was ridiculous, this way if they don't do what they are supposed to do, they just pay me to do it for them. So as I pick up dirty clothes, there's 10 cents for me, as I put away backpacks, another 10 cents for me and so on and so forth. And it doesn't take too long for them to figure out they can be earning that money instead of letting you keep it.
When developing this chart I had a few goals in mind. I wanted the kids to take ownership of the things that they are in charge of: getting ready for the day, practicing (piano), reading, and doing their homework. If they do what they are supposed to they earn 10 cents per square = $2 a week. If they miss the bus, they don't get to mark off their square and they don't get that dime. I am also not in charge of marking off their squares, if they don't do it, it's not my responsibility and they only get paid for what they do. Now just to set the record, they do not get paid for something they didn't do, I make sure they are being honest, they do not get rewarded for lying.
Tokens: Tokens are awarded for additional help, listening when asked to do something, for doing well at school, for being a great friend and brother, or to reward other good behavior. They can be redeemed for 5 cents each, 20 = a toy from the prize box (purchased from the dollar store), and 2 = 30 min. TV and/or video game time. If there are no tokens then the electronics don't come on, but not to worry, there is plenty to do to earn some!
I used pictures because until this year my youngest son wasn't reading yet, but I've left them up even though he can read now. I guess I'm hoping the picture might make it seem more fun, and really it is the youngest who is always searching to earn more tokens.
I also pay for grades and reading. If my kids read above and beyond what they are asked they get tokens! I give hard cash for report cards. I'm sure my pay rate will change as the kids get older but for now I pay $1 per A if they get all A's. My oldest just earned $10 on his last report card. If they have 2 or more grades that aren't A's they earn $0.25 cents for everything above a B. I don't pay for C's. You have to try and work to get paid.
On pay day, before my kids stash away their earnings 10% automatically goes into a tithing envelope. 20% goes into a locked savings bank which gets emptied into their real bank savings account periodically which I match and double the interest. And everything else they get to keep to save or to spend on what they want.
If they want a new toy, they can save up and get it. I do not buy them things at the store. They get gifts for birthday's and holiday's but if they want to get anything else, they can work towards it. If they buy something and it breaks, that stinks, I remember when I bought something that broke right after I bought it. It's frustrating isn't it? If they forgot their money or don't have enough (including tax and or shipping), remind them to bring their wallet or save up so they can get it next time. Sorry. This has really been great for my boys. I love watching them at the store figure out how much they can get with what they have and if it is worth the amount of money or not.
TV, games, and the computer is not allowed in the morning. Period, no exceptions. Video games are only allowed on Wednesdays (Early release) after homework is done, and on the weekends. And the TV can only be turned on if and when all homework is done for the day. During sports seasons there are several days a week it never turns on, and I was surprised that the kids really didn't miss it. Don't get me wrong, they loved when they did get to watch, but they were happy, funny kids even without the TV. Who'd have thought?...
My boys are really into Pokemon so we printed off chore charts for each of them from the following link there are several different options to choose from. I printed out a chart for each of my kids and put it in a plastic page protector hung up on the fridge with magnets and we use a white board marker to mark them off each week.
Custom Chore Charts:
DLTK Growing Together: http://www.dltk-cards.com/chart/chart2.asp
This has really helped behavior and the peace level in my house. If you don't have a system in place yet, I hope this got the creative juices flowing to get one started. Treat your household like a business. Everyone has a job to help make it work. Mom should not be the only one working...
There are several great resources out there but here are a couple ones I utilize and really like.
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey
Teaching Kids Joy by Richard and Linda Eyre
5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges by Richard and Linda Eyre
Parenting the Strong-Willed Child by Kevin Hinckley