Sunday, March 9, 2008

A System for Chores

DD, age 7, has a few regular responsibilities in our home, such as making her bed and clearing her place at the table after each meal.  She’s big enough to do more than that, and so for at least a year she’s had extra chores to do each school day.  We started with cleaning her toilet (on the outside) and mopping the kitchen floor.  However, she got tired of doing the same chores over and over, so after seeing someone else’s comments about negotiating for chores I started letting her contract for her work for a month at a time. 

At the end of each month, I get out a file box in which I keep 3×5 cards, one card for each household task.  (My list is extremely incomplete, but I add to it as I think of new tasks.)  Cards without a point value are not for her.  Cards for her have either 5 or 10 points marked.  She must select a total of 10 points each day, Monday through Friday.  When the chores are selected and I’ve agreed to them, we write them in her planner, listing the assigned chore for each weekday of the next month.

Often after she completes a chore for the first time, she decides she doesn’t like it or it’s too hard, but I remind her that it was her choice and she must finish out the month.  She does like the variety and the fact that she is able to choose for herself.

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