For a lot of parents, it’s not always easy trying to encourage a child to get in the habit of helping around the house. But the earlier you start, the better chance you will have of teaching your child responsibilities or learning how to contribute by doing his or her fair share of work at home. After all, a happy home is when everyone puts in the work to make it great.
When you begin, try not to discourage your kids about doing household chores. Instead, inspire them to make the dull routines enjoyable and entertaining. Typically, a chore chart is a listing used to track and organize the house work that everyone needs or at least should do at home together. The chart can be physical or virtual. It is often used as a means by parents to post chores expected of their children.
As a matter of fact, the chore chart shouldn’t be limited to just your preschool aged child. It would actually benefit the entire family if a list was created in order to keep track of everyone’s duties and responsibilities in and outside of the home.
If you're not sure where to start, here are some steps to take to help you create the best chore chart for your preschool aged children:
Create A List
The first thing you want to do is create a list of all the possible things that your child can help do around the house. Keep in mind that you might not want an 8-year-old cutting the grass outside or handling large objects around the house, so keep the chores light and age appropriate. In other words, you can have your younger kids help set a table with supervision, help a parent carry in the lighter groceries or sort colors for the laundry. Older kids (around ages 6 to 7) can learn how to be responsible for a pet’s food, water and exercise, wet mop individual rooms or fold laundry with supervision. If necessary, work side by side with them.
Add Specific Instructions
If you have more than one child at home, set specific instructions. For example, you can have one child empty indoor trash cans and help prepare food with supervision while the other child dusts individual rooms or empty indoor trash cans. If assigned chores don’t work for your family, you can create a schedule. One child can do certain chores on Mondays and Wednesdays while the other child does the same chores on Tuesdays and Thursday. This way it is fair for everyone involved. Also, remember that it’seasier to get your kids to do something by praising the good things they do than by reprimanding them after they make mistakes.
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In order to get your child excited about doing his or her chores, try adding colorful visuals to your chore chart. Stickers, glitter, rainbow colors, or other accessories that are bright and attractive can help get your child excited about helping around the house. You can start be creating a calendar with eight columns and draw a diagonal line in the upper left-hand box and another column to mark off the completed chores. Also, you can use different colored markers for multiple people.
Make The Chart Visible And Easily Readable
The next thing you want to do is to make sure that the chart is visible and easily readable for everyone at home. You can display the chore chart in a traffic-heavy area inside the house or somewhere your pre-schooler will be able to see it everyday. It can be anywhere from the kitchen, the breakfast nook, or near a calendar or versatile bulletin board. Also, if your child needs a gentle reminder to do his or her chores, make sure you remind them of what their daily responsibilities are. With that being said, make sure to update the chores chart everyday, too.
One of the best things about completing chores are the incentives that come afterwards. While not every parent offers a monetary reward for doing basic household chores, others find creative ways to show their child their appreciation for a job well done. If a child helps with doing the laundry, sweeping or watering the garden, instead of cash, you can give them an extra half hour of screen time. That, or you can set reasonable rates for certain chores. For example, for each time your child does yard work or helps clean the windows, you can set rates from $1 to $5. The more money they earn, the more of a chance they will either save it or put it towards a future purchase of special goal they may have.
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