Okay, so here’s the deal on how Jameson’s chore chart works:
I spent a couple weeks thinking about this, and kept a running list of chore ideas based on things he was already doing (but sporadically), or things I knew I wanted him to start learning to do. This added up to a grand total of SIX things. Wow. To be three again. Anyway.
I then put together a hodge-podge of ideas I’d collected. First, I got a piece of masking tape and stuck it on the fridge door at his level. I wrote “do” with an arrow pointing to the left, and “done” with an arrow pointing to the right. This is, by far, the most ghetto part of my system. Oh well.
Then I wrote the names of the six chores on card stock, along with a little illustration. I cut them into little 2.5″ squares, “laminated” them with contact paper (more ghetto… sorry), and put magnets on the back.
Lastly, I created a simple chart: Monday-Saturday, with an empty box for each day.
The idea is that as he completes the chores each day, he moves the magnet. At the end of the [completed] day, he gets a star. If the week is full of stars on Saturday, he gets a reward.
So far, we’ve finished one week. The reward was three Hershey’s Kisses. He’s been talking about them ever since. (Oh, to be three again.)
I should add: one of his chore magnets is “five finger chores.” This is a morning regimen passed down by my mother. We traced his hand, I illustrated the five chores above each finger, and we taped the paper to his bedroom door. He works his way through all five chores in the morning, and gets to move one magnet when he’s done. The five chores are washing hands and face, brushing teeth, getting dressed, making his bed, and picking up his room.
Oh, and his other five chores are hampers (bring them to the washer and return them, IN AN UPRIGHT POSITION, to the correct bedroom), empty dishwasher (just the silverware right now), set dinner table, clear dinner table, and pick up all toys before bed.
Right now, and probably for at least another year, a main goal of my day is to make sure he gets his star. He’s only three, and this is all new for him. It would be silly for me to think putting a chart on the fridge would suddenly transform him into a self-motivated worker bee. I remind him to check his magnets, let him know when it’s time to set the table, instruct him, and most of all, teach him to keep his obedience instant and cheerful.
So, now our morning routine, which has always been painfully long for me (does it strike anyone else as absolutely idiotic to spend a large portion of the day preparing for the day?) is even longer. But I that’s how it would be, and guess what? Training my kids to work is part of my job description. So oh well if I spend half an hour in his room, showing him how to take his shirt off and put his socks on. It’s good for him and for me. *wink*
The best part is that I’m the mom, and I make the rules, and I can change them when I want to. Some days, I decide three of his chores are irrelevant, and that’s that. Some mornings, “instant” goes out the window when making his bed turns into pretending spaceship with his stuffed animal as his flight crew. Blast off, kid. Live it up!
My favorite chore of all is the evening pick up. This one’s for Ryan and me as much as it is for Jameson. Evenings have always had the good intention of ending with pick up before bed, but more often than not, it got skipped when our activities took over, or getting kiddos in bed was just too enticing. This meant that we had to do it ourselves, and that’s just not fun. There are plenty of other un-fun things I have to do before bed every night! Now, getting Jameson that star means that we have to remember time for pick up, and I’m loving it. Absolutely loving it.