We've had several chore systems in our house over the years. Some have worked well. Some have not. There's no one perfect chore system that works for every household. I know families who pay for chores in tickets and tokens. Those tickets or tokens can then be turned in to gain special privileges like watching TV or playing video games. I know other families who pay their kids for all of their chores and still others that pay for none. Whatever system works for you is the one you should use.
But how do you go about choosing that system? If you're just starting chores with your young kids, where do you start? If your system isn't working, how should you change it?
Setting up a chore system isn't difficult. Finding the right one for your family may take some trial and error. Luckily, there are plenty of great resources available to help.
- Ask friends and family how they deal with chores in their homes. Someone you know may have a fantastic idea that you didn't know about. Sometimes the best advice comes from our own circle of influence.
- Check out the list of age-appropriate chores at Focus on the Family. This list is a great starting point if you're trying to figure out what chores your kids are capable of doing.
- Create a chore chart of some kind. Our chore chart right now is simply a dry-erase board with each girls' list of chores. This works especially well for us because I can create a new list every day. There are lots of chore chart resources available, but I like the variety of printable charts available at Free Chore Charts.
- If you're looking for a system that's already set up and all you have to do is implement it, check out Accountable Kids. This is more than a chore system. It uses chores and privileges to create an accountability system for your kids. I have a friend who uses this system and loves it.
- Use your system, and change it if it's not working. Your chore system is only useful if it's teaching your kids responsibility and you are able to manage it. Don't stick with something that's not working just because you've always done it that way. If it's not working, change it.