Friday, January 8, 2010

Next best thing to a maid...

I am listening to the beautiful sounds of housework being done by my children.  This did not happen by accident - no sir-ee!  It has taken a lot of hard work, patience and trial and error!

When the kids were little we did have them "work", made them clean up their own messes, play clean up (and sing the song!)  As they've gotten older, it's been more and more difficult to get them to take more responsibility around the house.

My good friend Amy introduced me to the poker chip system several years ago. I thought that would never work for MY kids. Then 3 years ago William's mom kept the kids while we vacationed in Kauai. She had them work on a point system to earn rewards, and it worked. We tried various systems that each failed.

Our version of the poker chip system is working very well. It combines the concepts of teaching responsibility as well as taking the burden off of me to keep the house for 5 people.

It's a "real life" system, showing them that just as adults get somethings for free, have to work for free, get to work for money and have to spend that money on things that they need and want - so can they.

There is a list of "just because" responsibilities that are theirs just because the live in this house.

There is a list of "free" things to do, that are available at anytime.

There is a list of extra jobs that will earn them tokens (after their "just because's are done)

and there is a list of rewards that their chips can earn.

The first week was the best, they were literally fighting over who got to do what jobs. The week right before vacation was great too, as it was their "last chance" to earn chips before we left (they wanted to "cash in" so they had spending money!).

We recently updated each of their "just because" (personal chore) charts.  I included a pic representing their Chinese birth-year info (they both really are into Chinese culture, decor and such) as well as a scripture that I wanted each of them to see each day.

We print these out in color on nice paper, then tuck them inside of sheet protectors.  That way we can use a dry-erase marker to keep it updated and keep track of their earnings.  Oh - speaking of earnings, attitude is important:

The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families--How they Do ItI've printed the Duggar's Operational Definitions of Character Qualities and hope to integrate that into our coin system soon!

If you'd like to use my files as a start for your home, please send me an e-mail and I'll send them to you. Please specify wheather you need Adobe (.pdf) or PowerPoint (.ppt) files. If you use my files and or pics, please post a link back here and leave me a comment - I'd love to visit your blog and see how this is working in your family!
I'd love to hear how you do "chores" and "allowance" at your house too! ~*~*~*~
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1 comment:

  1. I like it! I'm going to bookmark this for the future. 4 and 2 seems a little too little just yet, but it does amaze me how much a 4 year old can do! I do need to get more organized in training and encouraging though, so I'll really think on what you have here. Way to go, Mama!


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