Some of the most important skills and assets concerning contribution and time management were ones that I acquired through my mother’s chore chart. In fact, I use the same techniques today to manage work and life flow. Below are some tips on how to make a chore chart for kids.
1. Make a list of chores. The list will vary, according to your kids’ ages. My mother included every detail of the day, including the estimated time each task might take. For younger children, below are some items that could be on the list:
• Personal hygiene
• Clean up after yourself (bathroom, kitchen, living room)
• Pick up your toys
• Do your homework
• Wipe the dishes
Include the items that you are responsible for, such as:
• Preparing breakfast
• Sweeping kitchen floor
• Prepare packed lunches
I used to keep a notepad handy to record items each day to add to the list. I also put daily items in one column and weekly chores in a separate column.
2. Have a meeting. When I did my list, I explained that I was making a list of things to do each day, to make life easier. Ensure that they understand what is happening by having a good visual to show, either on a blackboard, whiteboard or large piece of paper.
3. Involve the children. I used photos of chores being done by children. Use bright markers on a large white cardboard or a cork board to pin on items. Ask the kids which chores they would like to do from the list, and add others they suggest.
For personal items, I had printable sheets for the kids to mark off each day. The household chores were on a white board with erasable markers for the kids to check off. This provided very visible reminders.
4. Develop an allowance system. For larger jobs, like cleaning up after animals or washing a car, I found it more it motivating to instill a paid system. My mother had a merit and demerit system. Demerits were given when jobs were not done properly or on time. This made us accountable for our time and actions. I also got extra credit for doing more.
5. Be realistic in your expectations. Ensure that your kids really know how to do the chore they are assigned. Train them well enough so that they feel good about performing the task. I always made it possible for the kids to ask questions. Don’t assume that they know how to do everything. Part of this whole process is teaching them how to be self-reliant.