A Chore Chart Guide
Maybe you have wondered if a chore chart is right for you family. Or maybe you want to create a chore chart for your kids, but you aren't sure where to start. Here are some tips for create a simple, yet effective, chore chart that works for your family.
Before we begin, here's an interesting fact! The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics did a research study that examined almost 10,000 children in kindergarten, and followed them until 3rd grade. They compared kids who did or did not have chores in kindergarten and found that having chores in kindergarten positively correlated with a child’s perception of social, academic, and life satisfaction competencies, and improved math scores. (1)
Chores help kids gain a sense of responsibility, and of helping the family. So where do you begin and how do you develop a chore chart?
First, start by talking to your kids. Get their input. Ask what chores they would want to complete, and include a couple of those in responsibilities. This helps kids feel more in control and that their options matter.
As for the actual chart.....
Keep it Simple
Fashion your chore chart in a way that your children can understand and remember their chores. This increases your child's likelihood of compliance. When hard things are complicated, you reduce the desire and ability to complete the tasks.
Simplicity also helps parents follow-through. The more complicated the chore chart and rewards, the less likely a parent will maintain consistency in follow-through. I recommend that each chore receives the same reward.
With regards to the number of chores, keep that simple as well. Typically, 1 chore per year of age, give or take a couple. I recommend spreading those out throughout the week, whether than completing all chores in one day.
Make it Repetitive
When you are teaching and training a child for a new task, use repetition. This helps their brain form the necessary connections to learn and make the task easier over time. Have your children complete certain chores for awhile before adding or changing chores.
Make it Visible
It's as simple as creating a visible chart that kids can see. By creating a list or chart, you are engaging the visual learning component. You are also helping your child use others senses (not just auditory) to learn a new skill, which helps your child learn more quickly.
Chores are Objective
While you may have to teach your child how to complete a chore, make sure the chore itself is objective (i.e. it's done or not done). For a chore chart, stay away from subjective measures (i.e. you cleaned it with a happy attitude).
Consistency is key. Your child need you to follow-up and remind them about chores. With consistency and time, chores will become ore habitual.
Create a Mixture of Chores
When creating chores, make sure to have a mixture of easy, medium, and slightly harder chores. The easy chores help your child feel accomplished, while the slight heard chores push your child to learn.
Another question parents have regarding chores is, "Should I reward or pay my child for chores?"
The good news is it's of little significance whether you choose to reward or pay your child. Should you choose to pay or reward your child, just don't make that the main reason for completing chores. Two reasons for this: A) The main point of doing chores isn't payment, and B) Your child may start feeling entitled to the reward or payment if you make it the focus or reason for completing the tasks.
If you choose to pay your child, it does create the opportunity to teach biblical stewardship of finances with a Give Save Live mentality. You teach them the main priority of finances is to GIVE first and generously, SAVE wisely, and then LIVE appropriatly.
Now let's get to the heart of the matter....
As Christians, we don't want to only focus on our children's behaviors; we want to win their hearts.
So, how can chore charts help teach and train children's hearts? Here are three lessons to pair with Scripture to teach your child:
We are called to serve, not just be served.
God calls us to work, take dominion, and cares about our work ethic.
God wants us to steward the resources He has blessed us with by taking care of them.
As you create a rhythm of chores and work for your family, give grace and remind yourself that it takes practice, for you and for your kids.
Greenlight Debit Card for Kids is a way to organize their chores, payments, and expenditures in one place. Go tohttps://www.greenlight.com/ for more information.
(1) White, Elizabeth M., DeBoer, Mark D., & Scharf, Rebecca J.. Associations Between Household Chores and Childhood Self-Competency, Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: April 2019 - Volume 40 - Issue 3 - p 176-182 doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000