Call me a Chore Nazi (that’s what my kids think I am) but I am a HUGE stickler for making kids do chores. Children have it SO easy nowadays and this is one way for them to learn to be hard workers and realize they can do hard things. Not only does it teach them responsibility but it gives them confidence in learning new skills. In fact, when I taught my daughter how to clean the toilet, I gave her a big pep talk on how, when she went off to college, some of her roommates might not even know how to do that but SHE WILL! Apparently that pep talk was effective because I overheard her giving it to her brother when he was learning how to clean the toilet. Now all three of my kids know how to clean the toilet well, including my 4-year old!
The way that I enforce chores with my kids is through Chore Cards and “The Chore Bag.” Every morning, they have to pick a Chore Card from “The Chore Bag.” “The Chore Bag” is simply a paper lunch bag full of different chore options. Whatever they choose is what they have to do for that day. If they don’t complete their chore that morning, they have to do it after school. If they don’t complete their chore at all that day, they will have double chores the next day. They cannot have “Screen Time” or play with friends until their chores are done. Like I said, I’m a Chore Nazi.
I have been using Chore Cards in a Chore Bag for several years now and it still works like a charm! The reason that my Chore Cards/Bag are so effective is because of one thing: the coveted “Freebie Chore” card! The “Freebie Chore” card is the card that my kids are always wishing and fishing for from The Chore Bag. If they get it, it means they don’t have to do a chore that day. However, they can only get one Freebie per week.
I also have a favorite Chore Card and that’s the “Mom’s Choice” card. If chosen, I get to assign any chore I want. Mwa-ha-ha.
During the summer I take extra time to train my kids on how to do each chore from the Chore Cards well. Then, during the school year, when things are busier, they will already know how to do the majority of chores without a lot of supervision. I do, however, make them come and get me for “inspection” on completed chores to avoid them from slackin’ on the job. The quote below sums up my thoughts on “inspecting” their completed chores.
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