There’s plenty of work to do in your home and your main task now is to figure out who in your family will do what chores, and when. The trick is in reinforcing the idea of getting routine chores done on a consistent basis.
Instead of just telling each person what they’re responsible for doing, it’s useful to make a chore chart and put it on display. That way, everyone is clear on what he or she is supposed to be doing. There will be no questions, since the chart is there to list what tasks to focus on.
Here’s how to set up and follow the chart so your family will get the most out of it.
1. Set Rules for Chores
Establish details such as when a chore must be done, like mow the lawn before dinner time, and set clear conditions, such as no internet or TV until chores are done for the day.
2. Tailor Chores to Appropriate Age Level
Think of the difficulty and amount of responsibility needed for doing different types of chores and match your kids by age level to these tasks. One kid might be careful enough to wash and dry dishes, while another is more suited to raking the lawn or washing the car. A larger, older child is more capable of running a vacuum machine than a smaller child.
3. Decide on a Visual Approach that Everyone Understands
How should the chore chart appear? You might use different colors for each kid to help them identify what they’re responsible for. A chore chart could focus on the day’s activities, or a week, or a month, depending on your family’s preferences. At the bare minimum, you’re looking to assemble a list of chores corresponding to who takes care of them.
How detailed the chart is, including the time and day or date to finish chores is something you can test different versions of to see what works best for your family.
4. Place Chore Charts in a Visible Location
If your kids don’t easily see the chart, you can’t expect their chores to be top of mind. Post the chart prominently, such as on the wall in your kitchen, or on maybe on the hallway outside the children’s bedrooms.
5. Provide Incentives for Completed Chores
In addition to penalties for not doing chores (like no TV/Internet), it’s useful to consider incentives to motivate positive behavior. Examples include:
- Getting to watch an extra 30 minutes of television
- Deciding what restaurant to go to for the next family dinner
- Picking the game you play during the next game night
It will be fun to come up with your own rewards to dangle in front of your young ones as incentives.
6. Motivating Your Family to Take the Chore Chart Seriously
Once you set up a chore chart and get your family accustomed to following it, you’ll be delighted to see your home becoming more organized and easy to live in. That makes a chore chart a worthy goal for any family to set up and use to stay neat.