Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Chores and Rewards

It's time for updated systems around here. What was once considered major accomplishments (brushing your teeth) has now become expected and normal. No more special attention for such mundane tasks. Our baby is now 5 years old and while chores have been a regular part of our lives I now see the need to "up the ante".

I learned from my sister-in-law, Paige, and a wise woman of 9 children, Darlene, about the "five finger chores". We've doing those for about a month now and it has helped us reign in my daughter's desire to instantly jump on the computer or turn on the tv in the morning. First she needs to finish her "first fives".

Here's what our (well used!) Five Finger Chore Chart looks like:

1. Turn off your "water sounds" (white noise machine)
2. Turn off your radio
3. Get dressed
4. Drink water
5. Put your laundry in the basket

Humbly drawn at the bottom is a picture of the computer. She can watch a show when she finishes all five. It's perfection.

But I also learned from my years observing Darlene that a great chore system may last a short while before it loses it's appeal. She seemed to have a good handle on when to revamp!

Pockets, Popsicle sticks, stickers, money, threats .... whatever your system, I'm curious what you do; What you've tried; How you've succeeded and how you've failed. Do tell!

Here's my newest plan to use in conjunction with the Five Finger Chart. Feel free to use, share, or delete!

(Compiled with input from the 5 year old)

Take a bath
Get dressed
Clean your room
Clean up after your meals
Put away your books
Put away your toys
Take care of your laundry
Rest time


Clean kitchen surfaces (floor, or cabinet doors, or garbage can)
Organize the clean laundry into piles (child, adult, towels, etc)
Put away all the clean dishes
Vacuum the living room
Vacuum your room
Sweep/rake leaves
Match plastic lids with their containers
Bring in 4 bags of groceries

Each extra chore completed gets a sticker.
When you have three stickers you get a treat.
If you save two treats you can trade them in for a toy at the dollar store.



Darlene Sinclair said...

Looks like you are doing super with this, Jacqui! Already planning the next stage, and that is the trick to keeping it fresh.

After the five finger, up the ante some more so that now a reward is earned by doing the fives plus something additional.

401 Ways to Get Your Kids to Work Around the House - a great book with TONS of ideas for age appropriate chores and charts to mix in here and there. Highly recommended!

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Superb post about "Chores and Rewards"

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