Friday, October 26, 2007

Finally, A Chore Chart I Like.

I am not a neat freak, in any sense of the word. No, I'm more of your let-it-sit-until -it drives-me-crazy-then-clean-like-a-mad-woman kind of homemaker. Because of this my kids have had it pretty easy in the whole chore department. They are in charge of cleaning their rooms, Cookie cleans the downstairs bathroom, Pablo and Monster Man clean the family room so that I can vacuum it. As for anything else I usually just ask as I need it. My kids should have counted themselves lucky and just run with it. Several days ago I was rushing around cleaning (like a mad woman) and I noticed Cookie just following me being bored. I kindly asked her to unload the dishwasher. Have you ever been given the evil eye? I'm talking serious evil eye, like I hope you drop dead, you are an evil mother, you should be reported to social services for being so cruel, kind of evil eye. And that doesn't include the sighing, the huffing, and the overly rough handling of my dishes she was performing either. I have a very hard time dealing with this kind of attitude from my children and usually this is the beginnings of a heated and useless battle between me and my daughter. Luckily I have been working very hard at not arguing with my children so after asking her nicely to adjust her visible attitude (which she didn't) I told her to stop and go down stairs. She started whining, "I'll do it, I'll do it," but it was said in a, "Gosh! Fine! Don't freak out," kind of tone. I firmly repeated, "No, I want you to stop and go downstairs. I didn't ask you to help me because I wanted you to hate me. I just didn't realize that you detested helping so much. Please go downstairs while I think about this." She pretended to be offended but I could tell she thought she had won as she rushed down to read her newest library book. I calmly asked Pablo to finish the dishes, and he did bless his heart, as I sat at my computer for the next 2 hours trying to find a solution to this problem. And I finally did it. I finally figured out a chore chart for our family. I have tried so many chore charts that didn't work that I had given up on them a long time ago. I've made checklists, star charts, climbing ladder charts, etc. They never worked, because they just weren't my style and usually required too much of me to keep them going, but this one is working and I'm loving it. I laminated it, put magnet on the back of it, called all the kids up and explained it to them saying, "I used to just ask you guys to do things, but I've had some really bad reactions from that, but now, with this chart, you will know what is expected of you every day, so there will be no reason for you to get upset." Now, every night at 4, as I prepare dinner, I have the kids do their chores from the new chart (whether they have done their downstairs chores or not) and now we have a clean upstairs every night when DSSH comes home. So, without further ado, here is my very simple chore chart:


Family Adventure said...

I have a similar laissez faire attitude when it comes to cleaning. I'll be fine, fine, fine...and then I'll explode because I suddenly cannot deal with all the mess (there is usually a close association to PMS here). Much to the chagrin of my husband and kids. Not a very fair and constructive way of dealing with our common responsibility of keeping the house livable. I realize that.

Your chore chart looks awesome. It's simple, so it's easy for the kids to understand, but detailed enough so that they know exactly what is needed of them.

Good job. Hope it continues to work out well.

- Heidi

Sea Star said...

I hope the chore chart works so that you don't get that kind of look and attitude again. I know that look well. Sophie is a master of that look and uses it all the time when I ask her to do just about anything. I like the term you used, visible attitude. They can still hate the job or that Mom is making them actually do something but outwardly they are compliant. Wouldn't that be a change!

mom huebert said...

Yup, that's how I clean house too. Your chart looks wonderful.

Cocoa said...

I use a chore chart too. And it has worked wonders. It puts the burden on them to look and see what their chores are. I only put a time limit on the kids, chores must be done by 7pm or else. The rest is up to them. It sure saves on the argument department.

toddler said...

Totally love the chart and will keep it in the back of my mind for when the kids are a bit older.........though Charlie is three.......maybe time for a little chore chart???

Cellista said...

Love the chart! Especially the part about checking the floor for dishes! Sounds like my kitchen.

I like the "ask mom to check it" part. Mine are good about cleaning for me, but not so good about cleaning it to my satisfaction and generally I forget to check up on them.

Kim said...

I got similar attitude from my son the other day when I asked him to do something. He is my perfect little angel child so it really took me by surprise. I think maybe I have been letting the kids go with the flow a little too much too. I have thought about a chore chart before but now I am inspired to actually make one. Good idea!

Kim @ TheBitterBall

An Ordinary Mom said...

I am sure I will be arriving at using a chore chart at some point, too. For now Keri's "Listening Chart" still is working, although Cory needs his own soon. The key is to find what works for you and your house and then run with it.

You are a more than remarkable mother! Your kids ARE lucky ... blessed is more like it.

Rachel said...

Your chore chart looks great!

Those of you with really internet-loving kids might want to consider a system that offers both printable and online chore charts, and potentially kid-pleasing features like animal characters and games. is the one that I work with, but there are lots of good ones out there.

Of course, sometimes simplicity works best, as it sounds like it is in this case. Good luck!