It’s half term for our kids next week, and I have decided to use it to reintroduce a system that we have used before to encourage the kids to do their chores, without me having to be constantly nagging them.
The kids have always had chores that are meant to be their responsibility, to earn their pocket money. Lately, any request from me for help around the house has been met with a combination of belligerence (‘I’m not doing that, I’ve got money saved’) and whinging (‘she’s not helping me with the recycling, why do I have to do everything’). Although they do always end up doing their chores, I, and I’m sure the kids would feel the same, could do without the initial battle to get them done. Our job box is inspired by a pin I saw some time ago on Pinterest. That pin featured a pin board with large bulldog clips. Each clip held a task and a dollar bill to be earned. Here in the UK we no longer have a small denomination note; I was turning over ideas of coins in envelopes, and Monopoly money when inspiration struck!
Our new currency is screen time vouchers. I found some free to use clip art to put them together and printed out a couple of sheets. We painted a paper mache casket and some little boards of wood. These are colour coded. One colour for each child, and one for jobs that both kids have to complete together. We also made two star boards; these are bonus boards that will have a voucher attached for when the kids have earned an extra reward. Both kids were surprisingly excited by the new system, we sat down and worked out who was going to be responsible for what, and decided we would start using it the next day.
When we first introduced the system, the kids woke me up the next day at 6.30am, full of excitement. You guessed it, they had completed all their jobs and were brandishing their vouchers at me. Slight disappointment followed when they discovered that the ‘no screen time before tea’ rule was still in force. The system worked really well the first time around, screen time is never far from their thoughts if we are home, so it acts as the perfect reminder without me having to be always reminding them of what they need to do.
I’d love to hear what systems you use to encourage your kids to do chores, or indeed, whether you think kids should be doing chores at all?