A while back, I became frustrated with the fact that I had to nag my son to complete his chores. I wanted him to be responsible and self-sufficient, but the fact is- chores aren’t fun. He didn’t have a motivation to do them and it seemed like we were in a chore rut.
Some friends suggested that we pay him a weekly allowance for completing his chores. I personally didn’t want to get into doing that. I believe that a child is a part of the family and therefore has required duties like everyone else. I did however, want to create some sort of incentive. I just didn’t know what.
A neighbor suggested that I try having required chores and commission chores. What a great idea! I immediately went home and created this Chore Chart. Our son (age 7 at the time), was excited about it too because he saw the opportunity to earn money – at his choosing.
Here’s how it works: He has required chores before school, after school and before bed. He is reponsible for doing them independently (we did assist him at first) each day. There is no monetary gain for completing required chores. However, if he does not complete a required chore, he owes us $0.10. That is an incentive to complete them…he doesn’t like to lose money. He has only lost $0.20 so far. He said, “Mom, it’s pretty much a waste of my time because I did other chores to earn money and now I lost $0.10! I did it for nothing.” Good teachable moment! We even joke with him…”I’ll feed the dog for you tonight sweetie.” “No way. I’m not paying you ten cents.” Before, he would barely do his chores and always wanted us to do them for him. Now, he won’t let us do his chores for him.
The commission chores are completly optional. Some weeks he chooses to earn more while others he doesn’t do any. It’s reinforcement of the ‘real world.’ The more you work, the more you can earn. If you don’t work, you don’t earn much. He appreciates that he has the choice to complete them or not. You’ll notice that they are worth different values. These values will grow as he does. He Xs off the chores as he completes them. You’ll also notice ‘pig faces’ on this chart in the first column. He was experimenting with how he wanted to mark them off.
This is also a great mathematic activity. Our son is responsible for adding up the columns and giving me the grand total at the end of the week.
This tool has worked very well for our family. It may or may not fit into your family. Feel free to edit the chart as nescessary. Chore Chart Word File
What other ideas do YOU have for keeping your children on task with their chores? Comment below.