Use Family Chore Charts
to Teach Responsibility

Family chore charts are a great way to teach kids responsibility AND ease stress on mom! You'll have a cleaner environment, and your kids will learn to take pride in their home-everyone wins!

Even if your kids are very small, you can involve them in your family chore chart. Little ones love to help mom out-and they can do more than you think they can! No, they might not do it just like you would-but they are learning. Give them a chance!

You may even want to invest in a kid-sized cleaning cart. That way, they can help you out with tools that are just their size. Let them dust, sweep, vacuum, put clothes in the dryer, get dishes out of the dishwasher, pick up toys, make beds-just remember that they will need your help (good bonding time!).

Family Chore Chart Tips

There are a million different ways you could make your family chore charts. But here are a few tips to help you make it a success in your home.

1. Make it kid-friendly-Use bright colors. If your kids can't read yet, use pictures to represent the chores. You can cut pictures out of magazines or print clip art from your computer.

One family used poster board and made a column for each person that had his/her picture at the top. Under the picture, the column was split into two-"To Do" and "Done". Then they printed out clip art from the computer to represent each chore, attached it to a poster board backing, cut it out, and placed velcro on the back. On the chart, they placed the other side of the velcro in the columns. Each family member had several velcro pieces in his/her columns. Every night, mom and dad would place the chores for the next day in each person's "To Do" column. As the chores were completed the next day, the chores would move to the "Done" column.

This kind of chore chart worked great because it was very visual. The kids could see exactly what they had to do, and what was already done. It provided them with a great sense of accomplishment. (By the way, we would love to show you a picture of this. Sadly, it was destroyed when the three year old emptied the trash can into the upstairs toilet and flooded the whole house!)

2. Keep it age-appropriate-Don't expect more from your kids than they are capable of. It's okay to challenge them once in awhile, but you want them to feel pride in what they have done. If they can't ever complete a chore to your satisfaction, they will get discouraged and it will just turn into a struggle every time.

Kids are encouraged when they know that mom and dad are proud of them. Make sure you tell them when they have done a good job! Keep in mind that it's your job to teach them how to do the chores correctly. Don't expect them to just know how to do it with no instruction-and you might have to remind them several times before they get it right. Try not to get frustrated. They are learning!

We want this to be a positive and rewarding experience for your family. And speaking of rewards...

3. Reward your kids for completing their chores-This is very important! When kids are working toward a goal (reward), they will be more willing to participate with a good attitude.

Don't be too free with the giving of rewards...they should have to work for it. Your kids will learn patience, and they will learn that hard work pays off!

You may want to do a small reward on a more frequent basis for little ones. Maybe give them a sticker when their chores are done. Another ides is to place a rock in a jar each day that chores are completed. When the jar is full, a bigger reward is given-choose the activity for family night, go to a movie, give an allowance.

Dave Ramsey also has a great tool called "Financial Peace, Jr." that helps kids learn responsibility and teaches them how to budget and save.

4. Be consistent-This must be an ongoing part of your family. Don't do it for a few weeks and then quit. It's a learning process for your whole family. Keep it going!

If it becomes too boring or doesn't seem to be working as well as it used to, change it up! Trade chores, give different rewards, try another type of chart. It's even okay to grant a day off once in awhile with no penalty.

Just make sure that your kids know that, as a part of a family, they must do their part. Chores will continue-even if the method changes.

Family chore charts are a great tool for your family that will teach your children life-long values.

For more great tips on using chore charts and rewards,
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