Chore Chart for Children

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How to Use a Chore Chart

Chore charts are a very helpful way to organize your child’s responsibilities. They are a great visual reminder and help to make expectations clear. You can use a chore chart for most any age. Write your child’s chores in the boxes across the top of the chart.

Examples for younger children could be:
  • Make bed
  • Pick up toys
  • Set the table
Examples for older children could be:
  • Mow the lawn
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Do the dishes

When your child finishes a chore, let them place a star, sticker, checkmark, or smiley face in the box that corresponds with the correct day of the week. Set a goal for how many stickers or checkmarks your child needs to earn each day. When your child reaches that goal for the day he/she will earn a privilege or a reward.

Examples of privileges and rewards:
  • Playing a game or reading a book with mom or dad
  • Earning TV or video game time
Things to Keep in Mind:
  • The chart should be kept in a readily accessible and visible place — this helps your child remember to follow it. The front of the refrigerator is a good example, especially if other members of the family will be involved.
  • Set realistic goals for your child. Make sure the chores are age appropriate and your child has a chance to be successful.
  • It might take some trial and error to set a goal for your child. If he/she is never earning their privilege or reward, then it is not going to work. You want your child to stretch a little to earn the privilege or reward, but you want him/her to have days where he/she does earn it.
  • Long-term rewards can work, but they might not be enough of an incentive for younger children. Waiting the whole week to earn a reward might feel like a very long week. If your child has a hard Tuesday, what is her incentive to have a better Wednesday? You might set a longer-term goal in addition to a daily goal. Maybe after a certain number of good weekdays or after a total number of stars are earned, that earns an additional reward on the weekend.
  • This incentive chart shouldn’t be used as a consequence. Kids shouldn’t lose checkmarks or stickers. If they are not making good choices, then they simply don’t earn that star or sticker and they will have to try harder.