They say no one has false hope like a parent with a new chore chart. Well, consider my false hopes high.
Chore Charts. We've tried them all! For a while, we did the "Mom Store" thing. I think that has been our most successful effort into chore charting thus far. It was fun and a creative way to encourage the kiddos to help out and have good behavior. I created "Mom Dollars" and a "Mom Store" which was comprised of various items I purchased from the dollar store, Walmart and the occasional chore pass or screen time pass. Kids could shop at the "Mom Store" with "Mom Dollars" they earned doing chores or for good behavior. "Mom Store" items were stored in small Tupperware containers with various price stickers on them. I used to keep some "Mom Dollars" in my purse so as we were out and about I could hand them out whenever an opportunity presented itself. But as my kids get older they want ACTUAL cash. So goodbye Mom Store.
Therefore I've tried every form of chore chart known to man, and invented several of my own. But here's where we always get derailed. Our family is COM-PLI-CA-TED!! (Imagine that underscored about five times!) We are a Brady Bunch family with his and hers. I have equal (50/50.. I swear he counts the minutes sometimes too!) joint custody with my ex husband. So 50% of the time, my kids are gone. We also try to be flexible with the schedule and allow extra time here or there if a kid is needing more Mom Time/Dad Time or there are special occasions. Needless to say, you never know where my kids are going to be. My step-son also makes frequent and random overnights or extended family members houses. Add in sports schedules for the two boys, work schedule for my teenager and ... well life. Chore charts get tossed out faster than rotten potatoes.
Trying to assign chores by assigned day was impossible because inevitably we always ran into "well, it's not my night for that. I'm supposed to do xyz. So-so is supposed to do that" but that child always seems to be elsewhere. We would ask them to cover that chore that night but it threw off the schedule, everyone was confused who was supposed to do what. Leaving Mom(ME! yay...) to handle it all and slowly lose my mind in the process.
My husband was begging for some kind of system again. I was hesitant but we are both working incredibly long hours lately and the kids are home much more with the current pandemic. So I started planing. I knew it had to be something flexible. Something that showed accountability and a way for all of us, during our insane amount of coming's and going's, to see what has been handled and what, besides the obvious, needs to be addressed.
So I came up with a Chore Chart Peg board. The rules are simple:
1.Tackle at least one big chore and one little chore every day.
2. Chores must be done by 3:00 unless they are evening chores
3. You must do different chores each day.
This way, no matter which kid is home, something gets accomplished. AND my husband can see when he gets in what he can tackle here and there. The kids get up in the morning and choose whichever chore they feel up to (this is where rule 3 will kick in so crummy chores eventually have to get addressed). This gives them some freedom, accountability and has everyone pitching in ... when they are actually home.
Will it work, it's too soon to tell for the long term, but I'm loving the immediate results. No screaming, begging, nagging on my part. I may need to at some point better define for my kiddos what is a big chore vs a little chore but maybe not. Today my teenager chose two small chores, HOWEVER, she treated them like bigger chores and went above and beyond. Her second small chore was straightening up the living room. But instead of just taking a minute or two to pick up a few random things here and there she really cleaned. Vacuumed, organized my work stuff put everything away. As a final touch arranged my throw pillows nicely on the couch so the room looks complete. I'll take it!
Here's my DIY Steps for the Chore Chart Peg Board:
I started by choosing my colors. I wanted to go with a paint scheme that matched the decor in my house. Since there are 5 of us I choose 5 different colors.
Then I laid out the design on my board. I ended up changing it a couple of times, but life is meant to be flexible!
Once I had the board painted I started dipping just the ends of my pegs into my different paint colors. I did about 20 pegs for each person.
Next I gathered up five small mason jars. I knew I wanted to hang them next to the Chore Chart Peg Board. I cut five long pieces of twine, probably close to two yards each, I didn't measure exactly.
I folded each piece in half. Then made a small slip knot in the center of the twine. With the two long tails I wrapped them around the top of the mason jar. Then tied a tight knot then a small bow. This made a nice secure twine hook for me to hang the jars from.
Lastly I added my vinyl. I didn't get any pictures of this part of the process, because it was late into the night at this point. But TA-DA! We have a new chore chart that hangs directly below our family calendar chalkboard I made last night. So I may be like all of the other Mom's with their "New Chore Chart False Hopes" but today, my stress is eased!