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.