Monday, October 31, 2011

A Chore Chart That ACTUALLY Works

For a while now, I have been trying my darndest to get my children to do a morning routine of:  making their beds, getting dressed, saying their personal morning prayers, cleaning their rooms, and brushing their teeth. And my lofty goal was to have them do this without me hovering over them to get them to do it.  I wanted them to do it on their own and I wanted them to want to do it FIRST thing in the morning. I like to call this “setting myself up for failure.”   ;)
It was a great goal right? Right!
I tried everything. I made this fabulous chart that goes above their school charts. The chart is great for them to keep track of what they have done and have yet to do, but now my battle was getting them motivated to actually DO what they needed to do on this chart.
Then I remembered that there is someone who knows my children FAR better than I do. I took my problem to the Lord, and everything came to me so very clear.
As mothers, we often times get thrown into this job without ANY training, but I love that we ALL have access to the best trainer out there.  (God) And the best part about this “trainer” is that he KNOWS each of our children and what will work best for them. Such a huge blessing in our lives if we will use it!!!
I found these fabulous little “chore bucks” and “behavior bucks” online. (Click on the picture, save to a word doc, make it as big as you want and then print them)
I printed them off, cut them out, had the kids color them green, (they loved that part) and then I laminated them. (Only because I am obsessed with laminating things)

I use the kid’s pockets that used to be their “behavior chart” and it is now the place where their “money” goes.

I sat down and explained the name of the game to my children.  I told them that if they do the morning routine (make bed, clean room, brush teeth, say prayers, and get dressed) without being asked and BEFORE they come upstairs each morning, they will earn one “chore buck.”
They also have a job to do each morning, such as washing dishes, putting dishes away, vacuuming etc.  Doing that job without being asked also earns them one “chore buck.”
If they behave well in school or have good manners at the table while we are eating, they earn one “behavior buck.” They may also earn a behavior buck by doing something extra nice for a sibling or for helping me when I need it, without being asked.
When they earn a “buck” I stick it in their behavior chart pocket and they get to see all of the “money” they are earning. I have various prizes they may buy with their “bucks.”  Some things are small and only cost two bucks. Other things are larger and they have to work hard and save up to buy them. These are things that usually cost 5-10 bucks. (but everything costs at LEAST 2 bucks) It is great to see them work toward that BIG prize rather than taking a smaller one. (But the two younger kids like that instant gratification, so they usually go for the small gifts)
The system works FABULOUSLY!!! In fact, it works so well, that I have to tell my kids to stop getting their morning routine done so early. I have some kids coming into my room at 4:30am saying they are done making their bed, getting dressed, saying prayers, brushing teeth and cleaning their room.  Oh my!!!
Another great thing about this system is that I am teaching them that everything has a price. When I am trying to get them to go to bed at night, I usually have a couple of kids that want to stay up till all hours of the night in their rooms to play. Now, I tell them that they are welcome to stay up in their rooms past bed time, but if they do, it will cost them one dollar for every half hour they stay up. 
I NEVER say “you misbehaved so now I am taking your money away.” They have earned it fair and square.  But I do let them know that some misbehavior will cost them one dollar. This way, it is THEIR choice. It is not just being taken from them. They are “paying” it out or keeping it.
They go RIGHT to bed now. I love it!!!  And I love that it is THEIR choice. They don’t want to pay the price to stay up past bed time.  They would rather use that money for something they want more. (Kind of like the choices we have to make. Do I want this brownie now, or would I rather not eat it and lose those pounds I have been working hard to lose?)
They are learning how to make good choices. They are learning to govern their actions without mommy hovering over them. And they are all cheering each other on. They often wake each other up and help each other. It melts my heart and makes me smile.
This has turned out to be a huge success.  I shouldn’t be surprised though. Look at who my “trainer” is. :)


Jen said...

Thanks for the tip- and hats off to you, my dear. You are amazing!

Rebecca Hansen said...

as soon as we get a working printer, i am SO doing like...12 of your things on here!

Northern Nickle Clan said...

Wow! Cool post! Thanks! And what Rebecca said!:)