Chores charts aren't exactly my strong suit. I talk a big game, have all these plans and determination. But the end result? Nada. Never makes it past the dream phase. To make things different this time around, I enlisted Boo and Boy in drawing up the system.
Opening Prayer: Baby (so dang cute that it's hard to keep from giggling)
Opening Song: Popcorn Popping
* I've read a lot of articles and blog posts lately that talk about instituting a different chore program for kids during the summer, complete with a reward system. Using different ideas, I came up with my own program. I presented my plan to the kids and let them give input.
Instead of giving them an allowance, they'd earn points redeemable for their favorite things. We discussed daily chores that I would expect them to finish six days a week. This is easy stuff like making their bed, keeping their clothes off the floor, and completing their dinner time assignments (Boy gets drinks ready and Boo puts plates on the table). This would give them six points every week. Then I added one little caveat: if they missed their chores on one of those days, then they would not receive any of those points. Gone. Poof.
Along with daily chores, they had weekly options. Four tasks that they needed to complete at least once a week. Each one is worth a point and includes vacuuming, smudge patrol, and tending the garden.
Just when I had them worried that their summer would be spent as my personal slaves, I showed them the last section on the chart. I left a space for Bonuses. These are for special projects or instances where they help me with Baby. Since they're spontaneous, the point values will be random. More points!
With images of points dancing in their heads, I pulled out the reward list. They could easily earn 10 points per week without any special bonuses so I started with 10 point prizes, like having a friend over to play. More intense rewards got higher prices, like a movie date with a parent is 50. I even set the bar pretty high with a tantalizing carrot: a new Wii game for 100 points. Boo has already decided which one she wants. And knowing her, she'll earn it, too. There were a couple prizes they wanted to add to the list but for the most part, they agreed with my suggestions. And I avoided rewarding them with sugar or cheap toys, going more for the experiences and activities.
BUT -- and I think this is where I went wrong all those times before -- they would also lose points for misbehavior, specifically one for every three time outs. Jaws dropped when I brought in this piece of fine print. I wanted them to take responsibility for their actions? What? I am really looking forward to this one.
Closing Song: Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam
Closing Prayer: the Boy
Treats: Milkshakes. The Man makes really, really good milkshakes.
Are you implementing chore charts for the summer?
* Image from PaintedGold.com, where there's some pretty good information on instituting chore charts.