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Chore Chart

The Best Chore Chart we ever used (and didn’t use).  How we Swap Chores For ScreenTime.

Your Modern Family; Becky Mansfield

Chore Charts can be very helpful. We’ve found this to be the best solution yet. Swapping Chores for Screen Time gets rid of any guilt that is associated with screentime or electronic use… because they are EARNING it.  Plus, they help out more around the house and you aren’t yelling or nagging them.

When we begin to use a chore chart as a way to help our children to become more responsibleor to help out more, it will either work like a charm or fail miserably.   Having a chore chart for kids is definitely a good idea, as long as it does not become MORE work for the parent.That’s where chore charts usually go downhill… when it becomes more work.   I want to tell you a story about my friend, Kelly.  I am changing her name today for this post. 

As a child development therapist, I have worked with many families.   I help children and families with specific needs and each family is just as important as the other.  However, the one that stood out to me the most was the Dove family.

Kelly Dove had three young children, ages 3, 7 and 11. She was a fantastic mother.  Kelly had been a Kindergarten teacher for ten years before she quit teaching to raise her children. She was an involved and caring mother, yet her children didn’t seem to appreciate her.

She tried everything.  She had a kids chore chart hanging on her wall, she spent hours every week trying to figure out which chore chart ideas were going to work best, but in the end, none were working for her because they were all causing her more work than benefit.

She felt like they weren’t helping out, but instead, they were doing more electronics. She was frustrated by the change in her children’s behavior.  When they had a free minute, they were grabbing their video game controls or their tablets.

Kelly felt like her kids were taking her for granted.   The worst part was that they were starting to lose the connection & bond with her, and with each other.  She valued their relationship and didn’t want to lose it.

They were always on electronics, they were arguing more, and they weren’t helping out around the house.

Even though Kelly had printable chore charts for each of her kids, they weren’t using them.   Her children were no longer doing simple chores or keeping their rooms clean, let alone utilizing the family chore chart.  They had stopped cleaning up after themselves.  Her children had even stopped putting things away when they were finished. They weren’t playing nicely with one another, and they were bickering more.  Worst of all, they had started talking back to her.
She was tired of always trying to convince them to help until she would just give up and yell, taking away electronics and other privileges. Kelly’s patience grew thinner and thinner.   She was yelling and didn’t like the person that she was becoming or the family that they were becoming.
She was at the end of her rope. 
Then, Kelly called me. She was ready to bring her family back to what she knew they could be: close, respectful, hardworking and loving.
After only a few days of working together and adding in some of my parenting systems, Kelly’s kids were back to their normal, sweet, loving selves.  Kelly was happier and everyone was getting along.

What did we do?   We started swapping chores for screen time.

By Swapping Chores for Screentime, they learned that in order to have screen time, they had to help out first.
When they helped the family out, they were rewarded.In the end, the parents were able to have help around the house and they still could allow their kids to have screentime because they had earned it.   Plus, they weren’t spending all of their time on electronics because now they only had the time that they had earned, so it was limited.

Chore Chart Benefits – The valuable lessons behind swapping chores for screen time

– The Value of Hard Work
– Building their character
– Learning about contribution to the family responsibilities
– Work Before Play

As a parent, you can feel OK about allowing them to have some downtime to kick back and relax after they have completed their work.   You’ve taught them a great life-lesson. 

It is so simple.

Just cut up all of your cards…

TOss them into a basket:

And let the kids pick their chores.

The chore basket is probably the easiest chore system that you are ever going to find.  It makes it so easy!

I just have them pick chores out of the basket and they do whatever is on the card.    There are no special rules or regulations.If I need their help, I have them pick out 2-3 chores and they do whatever is on the card.

Also, because I’ve explained why I need their help (part of the family, more time to play if we finish our chores, etc…) they usually don’t complain.

BONUS:  Use the Chore Chart Cards to encourage independent play or sibling play:

  TRY THIS ‘CHORES FOR SCREEN TIME’ CARD PARENTING HACK 
  • Encourage Sibling Play: “Play with your brother/sister without arguing for 20 minutes and you both earn 5 minutes of screen time.”
  • Encourage Independent Play: “Build with blocks, draw a picture, or make a LEGO creation for 25 minutes to earn 10 minutes of screen time.”
  • Encourage Reading, Writing, and Math: “Read for 30 minutes to earn 5 minutes of Screen Time.”  Or “Write 10 sentences to earn 5 minutes”

That’s it.  It is simple and easy.

It works… It really, really works!  

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