Chores for kids are extremely important. Chores not only teach kids responsibility but they also teach teamwork, work ethic, discipline, life skills, a sense of importance & accomplishment, and the value of money (if paid for chores). We do pay our kids for chores completed but it works a little different in our house.
The kids have a chart (pictured below) that has am & pm daily chores in first column, the next column had weekly chores, and the last column has bonus chores. Each of our children has a color assigned to them (basically from birth) and the chores that are to be completed by them are in that color. This chart is laminated so the kids can check off when they complete a chore. They are not allowed to erase though. My husband or I erase so we can go through and make sure the chore was completed correctly or to the best of that child’s ability. The chart hangs on our frig right now because that is a central location.
Why this works well for our family. Being hung on the frig in a central location means no excuses for not knowing what needs done. It saves me so many arguments when I child tries to say they didn’t know where to look or what they needed to do. It is all right there at their eye level literally spelled out for them what is to be done each and everyday.
Each of our children have a set amount that they earn each week. So for our 9 year old daughter she can make $5 a week, our 7 year old son makes $3.50 a week, and our 3 year old son makes $1.50 per week. Now these amounts might not seem like much but our kids have never complained and they have saved, spent, and given on their “income” each week.
We give yearly raises on their birthdays along with more responsibility. There are lots of opportunities to earn extra as well. The bonus chores are basically chores that would be done once a month. The kids can do those for extra money. I just list the chore and amount that can be earned for completing that task. They can also earn a bonus if they do a task without being asked or help a sibling with their task without being asked. The catch with our chore chart is if a chore is forgotten or not done on purpose then that child will not get paid for the entire week. Now this may seem harsh to some parents but what we want our children to learn is: You do the work you get paid, You don’t do the work you don’t get paid. With 4 children and 1 on the way I don’t have time to calculate individual chores or deduct a certain amount. This is what works for us. I have 1 child that use to struggle doing chores and they would skip or not do them on purpose and still expect to get paid. This solution worked the best for this child.
I can’t say this enough but do what works for your family! Yes, there will probably be a lot of trial and error but it will be worth it in the end. I cannot tell you how many chore charts I printed out or different systems I tried that worked so well for other families but didn’t work for ours. I finally made our own in December of 2014. We have been using this one for 1 year now with no problems.
Living in the country and having our own homestead comes with more chores and responsibility for the kids too. My 2 sons help with the chickens e.i. feeding, watering, and gathering eggs. Occasionally my husband does the watering but for the most part our 2 sons do a great job. So when we sell some of our eggs the boys each profit since they helped in the process of getting the eggs and caring for the chickens.
Our daughter takes care of the rabbits when she is here, ei watering, feeding, and checking on babies and pregnant does when needed. When we sell rabbit meat or baby bunnies she profits from those because again she helped take care of them. Our kids learn a valuable lesson in work ethic, responsibility for another creature, and handling money.
On a side note, our daughter recently learned how important it is to check on baby bunnies throughout the day when temperatures are below 40 degrees. We had a doe give birth to 7 babies on February 1. The bunnies are now close to 2 weeks old, starting to move around, and open their eyes. As a result they can get out of the nest box but not be able to get back in. We told her she needs to count babies each time she is out there. She didn’t count them 1 time just said she saw them moving. My husband went out, about 1 hour after she did, to get something and just happened to check on the bunnies again. He found one cold and stiff behind the nest box. He brought it in and we tried to warm it up to see if it would live but it had been out too long. If she had counted and found it out when she was caring for them we might have been able to save it. Yes, we told her it wasn’t her fault but as animal owners its our job to take care of and make sure each animal is feed, safe, and warm. Needless to say she now counts every time. She learned that even just skipping a step 1 time can have a bad effect or outcome.
As our other children get older they will be added to the chore chart. Another thing I wanted to mention was that I have 4 different chore charts we cycle through about every 3 months. I did this so each child gets a time to really be able to learn and do that chore well.
One final thought. When starting a new chore routine be sure to give, not only yourself, your kids grace. They will not get it right away. When I started this with our kids it took almost 6 weeks before they were consistently looking at the chart and doing the chores by themselves with no direction from me. So be patient and consistent with your kids.
Click the link below to get a sample of my kids chore chart. This is the one we do in Jan, Feb, and March. This is editable so feel free to make one that fits your family’s needs.
My daughter is in purple, first son is blue, and second son is green. I put some in purple & green or blue & green and this just simply means the older sibling needs to help my second son since he is only 3. Anything in black is for everyone to do.
Do you do chores with your kids? If so, what works for you and your family? Please feel free to leave questions or comments below and THANK YOU for stopping by.