Do you sometimes just wish your kids would do what needed to be done without having to be asked over and over?
- I want them to see the trash over flowing and take it out.
- I want them to notice the mount washmore we have going on in our home 90% of the time and take some initiative and do a stinkin load of laundry.
- I want them to notice the trail they have left behind them when they get home from school.
I know I’m living in a dream world. They are just kids. They will need reminders. Heck- I need my notebook and to do list to get through the day.
I’ve tried lots of chore chart systems over the years. I believe you have to change things up with kids to keep them interested so I’ve listed out my absolute favorites. We tend to rotate through these ideas as well our survival mode version. (AKA our chore chart when nothing else is working.)
So, here they are- in no particular order-
Chore Chart Love
- I love this one from I Should Be Mopping the Floor. Actually I love all of her stuff. Her site is adorable! We used this one for quite a while- we loved how simple it was and how we could easily customize it for our family needs. It doesn’t hurt that they look cool.
- I liked this one because it had fines as well as money makers. Talk about real life practice! 🙂 From Coupons are Great
- I did a version of this one from The Happy Housewife. I didn’t make it as pretty as she did though. Isn’t it beautiful? Mine was a piece of paper on a clipboard. 🙂 This one worked really well for my younger two kids. They loved the visual of seeing the chores all on the done column. Looking at this post again has inspired me to get my clipboard out and glam it up a bit for summer… maybe a bird theme.
If you are looking for a starting off point- these are a great resource.
But what do you do when chore charts stop working?
I love the idea of teaching my children life skills and responsibility. I also love how a simple piece of paper can motivate my kids and get my husband and I some much needed help around the house.
Unfortunately, I can’t just print off a pretty chore chart, tape it to the fridge and be done. I have to remind (yell, whine, threaten) my kids to actually follow through with the chores. I have to be consistent.
Consistency = Good Parenting
I know this is part of good parenting. I have to be the grown up and teach my kids the things they would prefer not to do so they grow up to be adults who know how to have clean socks and cook more than ramen noodles.
I think as moms we have to recognize that most of our awesome systems, including chore charts, are going to be difficult to follow at times. We do not live in a perfect world or family where all of our great ideas work 100% of the time.
No surprise there right? So why do I beat myself up and feel like a failure when one of my systems falls apart? I know I’m not alone in this.
Be Gentle With Yourself
I have a dear friend who reminds me on a weekly basis to be gentle with myself.
I can’t judge my parenting skills by how my plans and goals are going because they all fly out the window when my family is hurting or we are feeling overwhelmed.
Recognizing that I am in crisis mode does not get the dishes done, however. Kids still need to help out- it’s part of being a member of the family.
What I do when chore charts stop working-
I simply put the kids chores on MY to do list. You see- I look at that notebook all through the day. I can keep track of who did what and when so they learn all of the areas of keeping a house running. This is my actual to do list from the other day.
The kids did cross off their jobs- I took this picture before they got home from school. 🙂
By having my kids jobs on my to do list and this simple reminder list hanging in the kitchen we seem to do OK no matter what is going on. I made a prettier free printable version here.
Oh, I still do my share of acting like a broken record and trying to get them to wake up and smell the trash, but over all it’s better.
I don’t feel like a failure. I feel like they are learning even when I can’t be on top of everything.
I’ll probably go back to one of my favorite chore charts soon because I am always looking to improve our systems, but for now I am loving the simplicity of my to do list version.
Question- I need a new way to say “I sound like a broken record!” since my kids are of the generation that has never heard a record skip… What do you say?
“I feel like a slow internet connection” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.