Setting up Chore Lists for Kids

So some people think this is the mean thing to do, that kids should enjoy themselves, be playing, watching TV, etc. I for one am a proponent of a “chore list”. My son is in first grade and he can’t go outside to play until his “list” is done, which was usually me jotting things down during the day that I had saw and when he gets home he needs to clean up, they basically revolve around things that he messes up. So I was talking to another Mom and she said that she uses a “chore list” with pictures and using smiley faces or check marks in her house. She had the basics, make bed, clean room, clean up toys; I added brush teeth, dishwasher, laundry–clean put away–dirty sort in laundry room. I figured, hey the more smiley faces the better right. She also had a neat idea, she has on the bottom, “Can I help you dad?”, “Can I help you mom?”, “Can I help you brother/sister (add the names)?”

I got the list all prepared and showed it to my son, he was totally excited and my daughter (4), wanted one as well. I said sure…. Well low and behold things have been going great, they don’t have to ask “what else?”, they can just go to the list, they love the smiley’s, I love the work being done without harping and life is good. Now my favorite part was them coming up to me and asking if they could help me, I picked something, they loved it and it is getting them into the habit of asking and helping others.

If you want to use my list as a template, shoot me an email and I will send it to you. Every household is different, so just change to your needs, and don’t assume kids can’t handle the job, the job may not be done perfectly, but they will get there with practice. Also kids aren’t too old to start either. Having trouble with those tweens? If the list isn’t done, they don’t get their….cell, texting, FB, My Space, video games, whatever they are into.

Remember you are not being mean, you are raising responsible young people, there is nothing wrong with that.


~ by debt2dreams on October 4, 2009.

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