Free Printable Chore Chart
By Colleen Langenfeld
Have you ever found a free printable chore chart and tried to use it? Then you know you need to do more than just print it out and post it on your fridge in order for it to work. Here are the easy ABC's of successful chore chart usage.
A. Assign and Affirm.
-- Whether you give everyone their own chore chart or use a master chart, personalize your chart system to help your team 'own' their jobs. Add names to your charts and let your kids decorate them. It's just one way to get them excited and on board.
-- Make sure everyone gets chores that are age and ability appropriate. Likewise assign more challenging tasks as your kids grow up. Running a household means there is a never-ending stream of tasks to get done and your kids will need to know how to do all of them when they hit adulthood.
-- Appreciate your kids and instill confidence in them. Praise their efforts even when you feel like doing the job over again yourself. Explain that they will need to practice to learn how to do a job efficiently and effectively.
B. Build expectations.
-- Put specifics on your chore chart. "Clean bathroom sink, mirror, toilet and tub" will get better results than "clean bathroom".
-- Go a step further than just writing specifics on the chart itself. Train your young workers to show them EXACTLY what 'clean' looks like. Demonstrate your specific standards and how to achieve them. Be sure and provide the tools necessary to get the job done right. Go over any safety issues carefully.
-- Explain how much time a standard job will take. If it takes YOU thirty minutes to adequately vacuum the house, how can your little novice do the same quality of work in five minutes? When a child knows that he or she must devote a certain amount of time to a task, they will often put more muscle behind their actions.
C. Coach and Celebrate.
-- Train your workers by working alongside them, especially the first few times. Consider this on-the-job training...because it is! Even more important, it's family time. Doing chores together is a wonderful way to chat with your kids about what's going on in their lives. You'll get better attitudes, too, when they understand they are part of a team...not just the unpaid help.
-- Be consistent in your standards. If you let standards slide because you don't want to provoke an argument, there's no way you can expect a terrific job the night before guests arrive. Stick to your standards from the beginning and you'll find your need to nag will decrease once your trainees know you mean business.
-- Do you enjoy being rewarded? So does your chore chart team. Be creative with your celebrations. A family game night is a great prize for a week of well-done chores with little or no reminding. Another great idea is a favorite meal prepared...as a family. A super prize is a bit of time off from chores (that will spur real competition among your workers). Who doesn't love a vacation?
Using a chore chart can be a great way to get your household organized. But only if you know the secrets to success. (For more tips and a free printable chore chart, please see the author's resource box at the end of this article.) If you can be patient in the short term, you will see excellent results in the long term with this simple tool and easy guidelines that have been successfully used by many, many families for years.
<-- Click Image for Free Chore Chart
About the Author:
Colleen Langenfeld has been parenting for over 25 years and helps other moms enjoy mothering more at www.paintedgold.com. Visit her for more chore tips plus a free printable chore chart.