Chores (or how to use child labor to your advantage)

We have been himming and hawing about giving Crash and Bang an allowance for doing chores. A little incentive to help around the house. Well, I finally created a chore chart. Then it was critiqued by DW and a few changes were made. I based it on a few others I found online. Though the others just didn’t fit what I was looking for. I wanted simple. I wanted it left open for change each day. There chores will change from day to day depending on what needs cleaning and how much time they have.

For example, Crash vacuumed the stairs yesterday. That’s not something that gets done every day. Once a week will suffice around here. Bang put the clean silverware away after the dishwasher was run. That’s something that only needs to be done when the dishwasher is run. In our house that’s about 3 times a week.

I wanted a chart that could be filled in day to day as needed. Most of the charts I found online had the chores filled in already. Or the days of the week weren’t laid out properly. Or it was too colorful and distracting. My chart is perfect. It shows the whole week so we can plan ahead if we want. It’s left open so we can fill in whatever our hearts desire for them to do. It has plenty of space to give them plenty of chores without being too demanding.

It also has a spot for us to deduct earnings from them. BWAHAHAHA! Right now their deductions are only 10 cents. However, there are several ways they can be deducted. Peeing on the toilet seat because they left it down. Leaving a cup or bowl laying around. Not putting their dirty breakfast or supper dishes in the dishwasher. I’m sure more will be created as we climb the learning curve.

They are now four days into doing chores. They are still growling about it. Fingers are crossed that sooner or later (praying for sooner) that it becomes routine. But if I know Crash well enough, he’ll growl about until he moves out. Bang, on the other hand, without his big brother around is eager to help.

Right now they are earning up to $3 a week. One dollar is for them to spend. One dollar is for them to save. One dollar is for them to spend on someone else – birthday, Christmas, etc.. This comes to 75 cents per day for six days. This leaves them with one day without chores. Their first pay day will be this weekend. We’ll see if it motivates them to clean more or not!

chore chart xls

This  Chore Chart is an xls spreadsheet that will open in Excel

This Chore Chart is a PDF that will open in adobe

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23 thoughts on “Chores (or how to use child labor to your advantage)

    • Plain. Simple. And to the point. Crash just told me “I don’t care if I get paid” after I told him his chore was to vacuum out the couch (which is his mess from his breakfast cereal to begin with). This isn’t going to be easy.

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  1. Sounds like a great plan. Personally I think kids need chores, they need to understand that in a family everyone contributes to the dust and mess and everyone needs to help take care of it. You’re right to present it to your son as a choice-you can get paid or work for free, but vacuuming will happen either way : ) I just flashed back to arguing with my sister over who would do that job when we were kids. One thing I appreciate about my husband is his willingness to pitch in and share household chores.

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  2. Yes, you are much more thorough than myself. My approach to chores is very communistic. If the dishes need to be done, then I say, “Make sure the dishes are done by bedtime,” making sure that all three boys heard me. If bedtime comes and the dishes aren’t done, I take them all outside on the front lawn and make them do push ups, sit ups and log rolls in the grass until I get tired. I wonder if Lenin did it that way?

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      • Technically, I am past all that (the youngest is seventeen), but those days taught me that there should be a major difference between a drill sergeant and a dad. Chores got done, but all the kids knew about dad when they were younger was that he seemed mad all the time (because I was playing drill sergeant on them all the time). The lessons we learn…

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      • I tried to reason with him yesterday. I tried to guilt him into cleaning by telling him by not doing what I asked he might as well be telling me “No, dad. I’m not cleaning and I don’t care what you say.” That didn’t work either because he just went and played with his Legos. Perhaps my next blog will be “101 approaches to get to your kid to clean that don’t work”. 🙂

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    • I like the idea, too. But after 1 week he’s lost interest and doesn’t care about getting paid – to spend on himself or anyone else. It’s a bit frustrating, really. Not sure how week #2 is going to go.

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  3. Pingback: Chore Chart Update | All In A Dad's Work

  4. I took the tough love approach, “you aren’t doing anything else until you do what I asked you.” They fuss and resist at first, but eventually get really tired of sitting there, and grudgingly do their chores. The next time they understand Momma means business. There’s no reward, other than spending the rest of their day the way they want. Our motto: The sooner you start something the sooner it’s done. If I see urine on the toilet you’re cleaning the bathroom. If you track mud in you’re scrubbing the floor. They learned it’s easier to think ahead and not make a mess, than to clean the mess. And they understood through their hard work that
    it’s not right to mess up something someone else cleaned. We all clean at the same time, and working together it gets done quickly. My boys are 15 and 11, and I may just be the only mother whose sons volunteer to clean the bathroom or wash the dishes because they understand the value of helping, for the sake of helping. Not that rewards are bad, but many children have a funny way of not really caring about money, because they’re children. But they surely care about spending a whole day inside, watching their friends play outside. The first few days they might not care, but if you can hold out longer than them they will cave and beg to do their chores so they can get back to friends or games etc. They’ll know you’re serious and likely won’t fight you on chores again.

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    • Thanks for your awesome reply! I want what you have. We were already making our kids do chores. My theory on giving them an allowance is that when it comes time for gifts – birthday, Christmas, etc – they can use their own money to pay for it. This week did go much better than last! There was only a battle over 1 chore instead of every chore and the 4 year old earn a dollar more than his 8 year old brother because he volunteered for 4 extra chores 🙂

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  5. Pingback: Chore Chart Update #2 | All In A Dad's Work

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