Creating a family or household chore chart motivates children to help around the house. We believe all family members, young and old, must embrace a helping attitude for the smooth functioning of a house. Creating accountability for household upkeep is an important life lesson. There are methods for creating these charts and things to consider when assigning and tracking chores. We explore some here today.
What are the Different Types of Chore Charts?
Chore charts are about as diverse as people in a family. There are a few major themes for these charts. Here are some chart types we have found most useful.
Time Separated Chore Charts
Chore charts separated by day, week, month and occasion work well for many families, especially large families with a lot of chores to manage. Weekly chores might include things like taking out the garbage and watering plants.
Chores for daily use might include bed making, picking up after yourself, wiping down tables and counters, dishes, and feeding and walking pets.
Time separated charts can include morning, afternoon and evening column chores, and weekday and weekend chores. You can include these chores on one chart and assign chores to different people for different days. Be careful to stay as simple as possible, though, because complexity does not encourage the use of the chore chart.
Pictorial and Word Chore Charts
A common mistake that parents make is to have one chart of chores for everyone. If your family includes young family members below reading age, pictures may be much more effective than words. Picture chore charts allow young family members to view and complete their chores on their own, instead of waiting for an older family member to read them.
Older family members and young adults may have more complicated chores that require words to lay out explicitly what the chore entails. There is a big difference between a picture of a rake and the words, “clean the yard including pet waste, raking leaves, filling holes, mowing grass and weeding.” It is okay to create a chart of chores that combines words for the older family members with pictures for the little ones.
Chore wheels are a chore chart that are ideal for a household where ability levels roughly match. Essentially, designated areas like the kitchen, bathroom, living room and yard are on one wheel, and people assigned to these areas on a second wheel.
One wheel is turned to assign a new area of responsibility at the start of each new week or month. If tasks for the upkeep of that area are written out in detail and fully understood, then it is easy for one person to complete that area.
When each person gets home, hand them a job card detailing the chores that are needed for a specific room for that day or week. They have a handy and portable list to carry with them as a reminder of what needs to be done. These job cards can be done family style as well, where everyone works together or teams up to complete a room card. Alternatively, a deck of cards with chores on them can be shuffled and dealt out randomly.
There even can be some healthy competition to see who finishes their chores first.
Tabular or Columned Chore Charts
This is simply a list of weekly chores in one column with names assigned in the second column. There is also an empty spot for dates and initials upon completion. Less restrictive than certain chores being assigned on certain days, this chart type allows all family members to complete weekly chores in a way that fits their schedules.
Of course, there is alway a family member who puts off their chores until the end of the week, but several Saturdays spent doing chores all day are likely influence some change.
Chore Charts: How to Create, Organize, Edit and More
Creating, organizing and editing a chart of chores has never been easier. With thousands of available online templates, it is simple to create and change a chart to fit your family. Do remember, though, that there are key things to keep in mind.
Chore charts are best created by families sitting together. Support, cooperation and collaboration are all learned skills. Have all the family members work together as a team to identify what household chores are needed and how to divvy them up. Have regular check-ins with family members to monitor their progress and see if their chores are beyond their capabilities. Are the charts fairly divided? Is anyone being asked to do things beyond their capacity? Is everyone pulling their weight?
Editing and customizing a chart of chores works better than using generic chore charts. Creating a chart of chores with your family thatmeets your family's chore needs, as well as incentives are far more successful than just taping up a generic list. Investment in the creation of a chore chart leads to investment in the completion of chores. Even creating the following week's chore chart can be assigned as a weekly chore.
Keep a file of your most effective chore charts. Knowing what you have already tried may help reduce repeating the same mistakes. Don't be afraid to switch things up if one charting system is not working for your family.
Recommended Systems & Techniques for Using A Chore Chart
Use Age-Appropriate Chores
Being successful with a chore chart requires the parent to understand their child's capabilities. Asking a four-year-old to cook dinner three nights a week leaves the household members hungry or perhaps in danger. However, it is perfectly appropriate for a teen learning to be independent. Start with age-appropriate chores and understand that young family members may not do a great job. The point is to form a habit of doing chores; technique and quality can be improved as they mature. Below are some age-specific chore chart ideas.
Chores For Young Family Members
Chores For Grade School-Aged Family Members
Chores For Grade School-Aged Family Members
Incentives and Accountability
Accountability is important in the management of a household. The type of incentives you offer family members upon the completetion of their chores is going to vary greatly depending on the child. Incentives also vary depending on whether you are seeking a setup that offers extrinsic or intrinsic rewards. What is most important is that everyone in the house understands that their contribution is necessary for the smooth functioning of the home.
Inventive only strategies backfire. If the parent is not careful, chores assigned to an unmotivated child are going to remain uncompleted due to the particular incentive set forth. Be specific and customize the incentives, and yes, it is okay to offer different incentives to different family members.
Many family members, especially the young children, are overjoyed to help out. Childhood is the prime time to normalize the resonsibility of chores. As children grow, most will simply continue this behavior. However, if you have a child who is more motivated by external rewards, consider simple incentives such as a sticker rewards chart. Older family members may appreciate incentives that revolve around desired activities such as a playdate or a specific wish list item.
Some parents like to offer financial incentives for their son's or daughter's completed chores. If you are trying to teach family members that money comes from hard work, this is the way to go about it. There are many options for how to offer monetary incentives. Some family members get a weekly salary or may be allowed to miss a couple of chores after they have completed all of their weekly duties. Others are offered chores with their own set payment for each chore and payday is to be the sum of the total chores they have completed.
Placement of Chore Charts
Placing your chore chart in a location where everyone can see it helps a lot. Somewhere in the kitchen, whether on a bulletin board hung on the wall or the front of the refrigerator, are the best spots because everyone in the family needs to eat. Family members can check in on their progress and reminders are given frequently.
Chores are a reality of living in a house with other people, and even the youngest family members can participate in daily home upkeep. Cultivating a space that encourages collaboration and accountability can be enhanced by clear expectations and incentives outlined in a chore chart.