Anytime I present a to-do list or chart to my children, I get three different reactions. One per child. Sometimes I think they get together and discuss which imaginary award they are vying for…is it?
- Most Shocked (gasping noises accompany the reaction),
- Thoroughly Disgusted, (must be able to roll eyes while showing disgust), or
- Most likely to argue about the chart for as long as it would take to complete every task listed.
As a parent, I have most likely over-charted my children. From stars on potty charts, smiley faces for washing hands, or making beds, to checks on homework lists. When my mom came to help out when the kids were born, (we did the Irish triplet approach, so she came once a year), she asked, “Why are you praising them so much, they are just doing what they are supposed to!” Even though all the parenting books chanted praise, praise, praise, my mom – who raised four girls – and reared with tough love said “Zip it!” I’ve always listened to mom – so I tried to find the happy medium. Parent with love, teach responsibility, and never, EVER over praise – around mom.
So each summer I come up with a system. This time it involves Daily to dos – I can’t call them chores because at our last visit to the pediatrician for our 12-year-old, she asked “So, what chores do you have around the house?” My kids each had the same response a few years in a row.
Them: “Feed, the dogs, make my bed…”.
Me (thinking): Uh-oh, I clearly did not prep well.
Dr. Greene: “Nope, those aren’t chores” the doctor interrupted, “those are things your suppose to do.”
My mom suddenly reappeared as our children’s doctor. I was caught.
At least they we were good on “screen time”. Our kids always responded to the, “and how much screen time do you get?” question with a look of vengeance saying, “SHE (jerking their head in my direction) only lets us have 20 minutes a day IF our homework is done, and NO I don’t have a TV in my room.”
Aha! I’m not wrecking them completely. In fact parenting expert Jim Fay, co-founder of the Love and Logic website implores parents to have children make their contribution, stressing how we all need to feel needed. “But they can’t feel that way if they don’t have chores and make contributions to the family,” according to Fay.
So, who am I to argue with Love and Logic? Here are the charts I created merging many ideas together:
Here’s the Main Chart. I’ve separated into daily and weekly jobs.
Daily Duties are logical things I am STILL (ugh!) reminding them to do, so now it’s the charts turn.
Weekly Duties are not crazy hard, but still take time. Monday’s job, the Room of Responsibility (ROR), is rotated every week. They each get two.
Cleaning tips by room:
Ideas for incentives:
Hope you can skim some ideas off these charts.
Now go for a nice run, enjoy coming home to a clean home, and remember your children will thank you in 15-20 years for teaching them that cleaning a toilet is TO a life skill!