Chores: Good for Kids, Good for Moms

Not too long ago, I heard a mom say that she doesn’t value chores for her children. She thought that kids should be kids, so she preferred that they play instead of helping out around the house. I respect others’ opinions and I understand that each family is different. But a recent study out of Harvard showed just how important chores are for children. The study found that two things that children need to be “successful and happy” (whatever that means!) in life are love and a strong work ethic. A strong work ethic depends on whether they do chores as a child- the earlier, the better. Beyond the benefits, I want to get my children involved in chores because I need the help! When my children learn that they are held accountable for the messes they make, and are expected to pitch in as a member of the family, cleaning the house will eventually be less stressful for me! Good for the kids and good for me? It’s a win-win 🙂

Moms have a lot of pressure these days, and I can’t help but wonder if motherhood would be more enjoyable if we learned to trust our children with more responsibility.

Miss H is four, so we are still working with her on doing chores. The biggest problem is my inconsistency. Sometimes I forget to tell her to feed the dog, and she’s not quite self-motivated on most days.  And sometimes feeding the dog means that she will get dog food and water all over the bathroom. So how do we get to the point where helping out with chores actually helps and makes life stressful?

I don’t have an answer. But I did come up with a chore chart that’s helping!

Chores help children build a strong work ethic- which is crucial for their future!

Paying for Chores

We’ve heard two different things about paying for chores. One thought, from Dave Ramsey, is that children need to know that they have to work for money, so pay them for chores. The other thought, from Love and Logic parenting, is that children should have to pitch in as members of the family, and shouldn’t get money for it. Because of the educational philosophy we use in our home, I wasn’t sure which way would be best. Then I decided to do both.

We have a short list of chores that Miss H has to do daily. She feeds the dog, cleans her room, picks up her toys and clears the table after meals. Then, she can earn money by doing extra chores. Once again, my inconsistency was a problem here. I forgot to offer her chores, and sometimes I’d even forget to give her those two precious quarters that she worked so hard for!

DIY Chore Chart

A DIY chore chart that reminds children to work hard!

Chore Chart

Inspired by some ideas on Pinterest (like this one!) and by my basket of Washi tape, I made a chore chart on an old chalkboard. The extra chores that Miss H can do are written in the middle, and have $.50 hanging right next to them, so Mom can’t forget to pay up. When she finishes all four chores on the board and pockets the money, I’ll write new chores on there. The chores that she has to do first are on the bottom of the chart.

To make this super-simple chore chart, I found the old chalkboard in our garage. And by chalkboard, I mean a piece of scrap wood painted with chalkboard paint. It’s about 18 inches tall and 13 inches wide. I segmented off small sections on the top and bottom with Washi Tape. Then, I attached two Command Clips to the left side of the board, and two to the right side. To finish it off, I just wrote the chores I wanted her to do next to a clip, and clipped $.50 there.

H LOVES this! The first day, she did two of the chores. She finished one the next day, and it took her a little longer to get to the dusting. Apparently, dusting is not her favorite way to help out. But with that $.50 still sitting there, she eventually got it done well. Since I pull the money off of the clips for her, I have to check her work first. This will help her learn to work hard and to complete the task the right way! After a few days with this system, she is already talking about saving her money up to buy a fairy garden 🙂

 

DIY Chore Chart

DIY chore chart to help kids develop a work ethic- and to take some of the stress of cleaning off of Mom’s shoulders!

 

 

 

 

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