Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Chore Chart

Now that Baby Girl is officially 4 – I didn’t think I’d ever see the day when I could honestly tell Alise that yes, indeed, she is 4! – and we’ve done the Disney thing, the party-with-her-friends thing, blown out a whole box of candles on individual cupcakes for a week, opened gifts and spent all her birthday money, it’s time for her little brand new 4 year old self to have a wake-up call!

The alarm is buzzin’ and it’s screaming, “CHORES!!”

It’s time for Baby Girl to take some RESPONSIBILITY and help her family out!

So, I’ve been on Etsy looking at some chore charts – because you KNOW how much I love Etsy (my previous sellers received a little love in their Etsy mailboxes today). I found one that I like that has Velcro tasks, days of the week, and pictures, but I want to be sure that the tasks are things that she can really do by herself. I am waiting for a response back from the seller.

Currently, we’re not doing too much with Alise as far as chores go. Sometimes I’ll ask her to take the silverware out of the dishwasher and put it in its proper place. Sometimes Wayne will ask her to get the bathroom trash and the trash in her room. The whole making-the-bed thing didn’t work…even when we promised to give her a dollar a day. We make her pick up her dirty clothes and put them in her hamper. Cleaning her room is still an issue. She requires “help” with that one.

So here are the questions:

Do you currently use a chart of some type for your children’s household responsibilities and is it working?

What specific tasks do you require for your 3-5 year old children?

Do you give your 3-5 year old allowances? If so, how much?

I read somewhere – during my Dave Ramsey days – that you shouldn’t give children an allowance, but instead, reward them for the “extra” things that they do. Not just their “normal” responsibilities. What do you think about that?


  1. We have done chore/reward charts in the past. Some of the things that our oldest had to do...
    a) clean up the playroom
    b) help around the house (bringing me the dirty clothes hamper, putting his clothes away after folded, putting clothes in the washer/dryer)
    c) setting the table (even if it's just napkins and silverware)
    d) feeding the dog
    e) LISTEN -- yes it was a chore...LOL!

    Now, we used stickers, and once he got a certain amount of stickers, he was able to go the store and pick out a toy. Or -- he could pick a family activity (movie, bowling, etc).

    I have friends who have given $$ but have also set up 3 buckets/baskets and let the kids split the money (give to church/others, save, and spend).

    Good luck. Keep in mind that short time rewards are better than long-term. We usually did a two-week period MAX. HTH!

  2. I cannot answer the allowance thing yet. I am not sure how I feel about it. I have been reading two really great parenting books and they both have strong differing opinions. Yet make good points for each belief.

    I do have MK pick up her room every night before bedtime. I have had to really model this so she knows where too put things. She can put dirty clothes in the hamper. She has helped put her clean clothes away in drawers. I think it is really good for them to learn chores.

  3. I'm going to be stealing everyone's advice they give you! Sofia loves to help and she will usually do chores that she knows help me but the cleaning up toys and things she is not good at. I need a system for sure!

  4. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Great post! I've been wondering the same thing! Let us know what you decide!

  5. Should kids really get cash for helping keep their own house clean? I don't get money for keeping mine looking nice. I do understand giving younger children an incentive, though.

    I don't have kids yet, so what I say is probably nonsense. I'll be so desperate for my kids to help I'll give them my paycheck. :P jk!

  6. I can't speak from my own parenting experience, but I can speak on what my parents did for me.

    I remember at the age Alise is now, I had small chores like feeding the dog at certain times (before dinner) and really picking my room up once a week on Saturdays. I think having a day/time frame of doing things really helps a kid. I think I got two dollars a week (which is so much to a kid) and later five dollars when I got a tad older and got more responsibilities.

    For me, asking for my "allowance raise" sort of worked with real life as I told my parents that I would like to do x,y,z and if I did that (they weren't apart of usual helping our or regular chores) could I have my allowance raised?

    I think having an allowance is good for kids. For me, I was a saver as I would put half my allowance to my children's college fund (yes I had a college fund at Alise's age for my kids...can you imagine what my Mom was thinking?) and the other half I could either save up for something I wanted or blow it on something I wanted (within reason). Allowance for me taught me the value of money. My parents still paid for things we would do as a family (movies, miniature golf, etc.,), but if I wanted a certain toy and it wasn't around birthday/Christmas, then I would save up for it.

  7. We do not have a chart (for some reason, I never used one for any of my girls), but Sydney (who just turned 5, so is close to Alise)... cleans up her room (she actually likes doing this for some reason! yay!), helps fold up her clothes, and usually helps me when I am doing windows, cleaning furniture, etc. (I just give her a rag and she works next to me).

  8. I don;t have any sort of structured chore chart etc...I was never given allowance growing up so I will probably not with my children. My parents offered certain jobs around the house and yard if we wanted to earn money.

  9. Let us know what you decide on the chore chart and allowance. We had a chart that we used for about a week with just normal personal care items - I need to get back to it and expand to chores. Carter helps when asked...but I only ask when he is in a good helper mood.

  10. I look forward to the chore chart posts.

    We do use chore charts, we have used different ones as our needs have changed. I do pay 10 cents per chore. They are not paid for grades. But I really felt that they should learn to earn a wage...not just be given an allowance. They save it up and spend it how they choose. We also show them how to spend that money. We don't allow them to just throw it away on crap.

    I look forward to seeing how you implement yours. :)

  11. Anonymous12:09 PM

    Okay, I NEED to start this up too!! Thanks for reminding me!!!!