Sunday, July 12, 2009
Chore Chart 2.0
According to the experts, children as young as two are ready to begin household chores. Do I believe the experts? NO. Nonetheless, I want to believe the experts as badly as Agent Mulder wanted Scully to believe in aliens. Most of the time, this house is anything but clean, and any help in any shape or form is very much appreciated. Not to mention the fact that I'd like to teach my kids about cleaning so they don't have to live in a pig-sty when they grow-up.
Chore chart 1.0 has been around for about a year now. Version 1.0 started out with a lot of excitement and fanfare, but the fun has since worn out. I created a little template on Word with six chores listed for Monday through Saturday. When Nora completed one of her chores for the day, for example making the bed, she would choose a Princess sticker for the box. If she completed all of her chores for the week, she would get to choose a prize from the box on Saturday night. Most prizes came from the dollar store, others were clearance toys from Toys R Us. She earned Strawberry Shortcake dolls, puzzles, stuffed animals, Play-doh, and paints. She loved her prizes, and I only felt a little guilty that she was working for third-world wages.
Unfortunately, Chore chart 1.0 did not last very long. A big part of the problem was me; I would forget that I had assigned a chore and did the work myself. I also assigned chores that didn’t always need to be done, for example, watering the flowers on a rainy day. She would do some chores, but not all of the chores, and felt cheated about not getting her prize. Eventually Nora and I fell out of the habit of doing chores.
Enter Chore Chart 2.0, an awesome Melissa and Doug product. Ryan and Nora came home from Barnes and Noble with a magnetic chore chart for the fridge. I mean an awesome chore chart. There were a ton of tasks to pick from and smiley face rewards. No more buying sheets of stickers. Plus, this chore chart provides several things 1.0 did not. First, it provides variety, since it’s easy to change up the chores completed each week. Second, the nature of the chores are probably more age appropriate than the chores I had chosen. Brushing teeth and saying please are rewarded. These tasks are easy for kids to do, and it instills great habits. Finally, the instructions say give a prize at the end of the week for a certain percentage of chores being completed rather than filling up the whole chart. There are 49 tasks for the week. We give her a prize for completing 30 things. The 30 smiley faces are up on the fridge, so she knows how many more chores she has to complete. Finally, I loaded the prize box up with books! Nora loves the Magic Tree House series, and now she has the opportunity to own the first 40 volumes. (I got a deal. She’s still working for slave wages).
So far it’s been a rockin’ success. Nora dances around when brushing her teeth, makes her bed with pride, and asks if there’s anything else she can do! The awarding of the smiley face is always accompanied by jumping up and down and loud yays!!! I’m jumping up and down with her, because everything about kids doing chores is wonderful!!! And we’ve had fun reading the Sunset of the Saber tooth. I hope she picks Midnight on the Moon next.