I believe that children should experience relatively care-free days. I believe that kids should play wildly with their toys and spread them over the carpet. I believe that rooms in homes should be “kid friendly” with few things that are off limits. But I also believe that at the end of the day, kids need to pick up the toys they have gotten got. Kids need to be responsible for where their tooth brushes are in the bathroom. Kids are should be active in all of the “work” that goes into running a home. Mamas and Dads and Nannies shouldn’t be the only ones responsible for the mess. Mamas and Dads and Nannies like to have fun, too. And Mamas and Dads and Nannies get a little tired of doing everything alone. So, I tell my kiddos that sometimes in order to have fun, things need to be in (somewhat) of an order. It’s not an easy lesson to learn, but we’re figuring it out as we grow.
The best solution I have come up with is making chore charts. I had an amazing one this summer, but with fall has found us all much busier than the days of summer. I don’t want the kids to feel overwhelmed by coming home and having a million (literally) of things to do, so their Mama and I decided to decrease the amount of chores they should do each week.
And the rules are pretty simple.
By Friday, each kid should have their bases filled. To fill a base, you do a chore. Some days I or their Mama decides on the chore (I like to have a chore written down for each of them when they come home from school.). And other days they can just chose an act of kindness to help out with around the house.
The kicker for this chart is that a child can accumulate strikes. Strikes are things like lying about actually doing your chore (as if we wouldn’t notice), excessive complaining, failure to listen, sassy attitudes, not putting away their bags, shoes and coats, etc. If a child gets three strikes, they must clear their board and start over. We want them to understand there are second chances. We want them to understand they have to work hard and be kind to get rewarded. We want them to take accountability for their actions. The added effect of the strikes has made a huge difference in their willingness to comply.
I highly recommend making a chore and