Who does not feel frustrated when your child cannot seem to finish his chores even after repeatedly asking him to do so? We all are. And so it is time to design a chore chart. Here is how it works.
List the chores you want your child accomplished. The chores may include getting the dishes done, taking out trash, cleaning the room, putting laundry in proper places, gardening or yard work. To be realistic about it, target finishing each chore once or twice a week. More than that may just invite frustration. When your child accomplishes a task, let him indicate it with check marks on the chore chart. Each week should be an opportunity for measuring his achievements. Parents will notice that a child derives satisfaction from checking off each completed chore. And with it both of you can expect completed chores at the end of each week.
Making the chore chart work will require discussing and jointly designing it with your child. You may also wish agreement on rewards for accomplishing the tasks listed on the chart. Fixing a certain amount for a set of accomplishments is recommended in case you decide on granting monetary rewards. This means the grant must be given on regular basis and deemed appropriate to the child's age. Fifty cents for each year of age is “industry standard". Thus a 10-year old child receives $5.00 of extra allowance per week for getting his chores on the list done. He does not get it if otherwise he fails to complete the tasks.
The chore chart and the reward system it offers can also be an opportunity for your child to develop other values aside from having the discipline to finish his assigned tasks. You can teach your child the value not only of earning money with commensurate effort on his part, but also of saving what he earns and even sharing it with less fortunate kids. Introduce to him ideas like dividing the extra allowance he earns into three: 1/3 for his savings, 1/3 for him to spend, and 1/3 for charity. There are many ways by which your child can keep tab of where his money goes. You can encourage him to use money jars or coffee cans, or both of you can devise a “bank book" where movements of each portion of the allowance can be tracked.
Non-monetary incentives can be applied just as well. Again you need to be clear with your child of the rules involved. For example, he can enjoy seeing a movie with mom and dad or have two hours of his favorite video games every weekend when he gets check marks on the chore chart. Another option is for your child to write “paper notes" for tasks he accomplished, and store these notes like deposits which he may later on convert to cash based on conditions or parameters you agreed on earlier with your child.
In whatever form the rewards may take, do not forget that the chore chart is your means to develop a sense of discipline in your child.
Hermilando Aberia is an expert in social development work with at least 22 years of professional experience as either consultant or key staff member of health, community development, education and local governance projects. He has a Master's Degree in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management. Contact Information: B21 L59 Kassel Kristina Heights, Tacloban City, Philippines. Mobile: ( 63) 9058664106; Website: http://www.freewebs.com/iaberia