The (Ch)art of Chores

The (Ch)art of Chores

When is a child old enough to do cho, at our house it started when Jack was five. At that age he was old enough to help feed Mulligan, take out the recycling and set the table. I also had “make bed” on his list, but that hardly ever happened. He would earn stickers for his chart and after he filled up the chart he would earn money.

At the time we started the system he was not motivated by earning money at all. We had to constantly remind him to put his stickers on his chart, which defeats the purpose of him learning responsibility. Jim even went as far as putting stickers on the food container, recycle bin, and silverware drawer, but even that didn’t help. Periodically he would get interested in earning some money for a toy or game and then be focused for a few days or a week, only to fall back into his normal routine. Sometimes it would be weeks before he filled up his chart.

When he turned seven this year things changed. Now he is much more motivated to earn money. Currently he is saving money to buy different Skylanders characters. Since he is older, we decided it was time to revamp the chore list, reward system, and chart.

Now he has a standard list of chores he must complete daily or weekly as appropriate to earn his allowance of five dollars. These chores include taking out the garbage, making his bed, and putting his clean clothes away. He is supposed to check these off as he completes them daily and if he doesn’t do some than we can take money out of his allowance.

There are also “extra” chores. These are bigger jobs that earn extra money, like vacuuming out our cars, helping with the dishes and pulling weeds. Some payout as much as five dollars extra, so he can really rack in the dough. The extras really come into play when he decides he wants something, otherwise most weeks he just does his basic list.

He gets paid on Sundays (if we have the cash) only if his room is clean – an idea we love that we borrowed from our friend Allison. We will see how long this chore plan lasts, but I can’t wait until we can add “pick up dog poop” to his list!

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