Tuesday, October 12, 2010

When We're Helping, We're Happy

. . . or at least Mom is!
We've been in serious need of a chore chart for quite some time. My home frequently feels out of control. I am only one woman, no matter how super I seem (wink wink) I cannot clean up after myself AND a big ol' family. Plus, I was sick to death of the chorus of whining I heard every time I asked someone to unload the dishwasher. I searched around the internet for quite awhile looking for a chart that would blend functionality with my desire to craft, and could offer our bland walls a little cuteness factor. I found this, super sized it for our large brood, and here is my masterpiece:

Everybody has their own little magnetic board to keep track of their chores. I love it. And the best part is, it's working! The kids have five or six regular chores they have to do daily, the basics really, the stuff they should be doing, but weren't, but now are, because it's somehow fun and satisfying to move a magnetic chore picture from one column to the other. I also assign an extra chore at least once a week (soccer days and other chaotically busy days I skip the extra chores).

Here are a few of the extra chores. Once they do the chores I assign, they are free to do more, with permission (Eli tried to get credit for cleaning an already clean living room, and Meilani wanted to vacuum around all the toys on the floor). I pay $1.00 a day for completing all their daily chores, and $1.00 (or more, depending on the chore) for extra chores. But who wants to dole out real money to pip squeaks? No me!

They get "Mommy Dollars!" What do mommy dollars buy, you ask? Hot lunch at school, a gift for a friend's birthday party, a later bed time, a new picture frame for Mom because I kicked the glass through one of hers (that would be Sariah), TV time, a movie selection from Netflix, a new jacket because I lost mine for the umpteenth time (Meilani), basically privileges, or stuff that I'd be buying anyway! Everything has to be approved. I still have veto power!

If I've talked with you in the last few weeks, I've probably chatted on annoyingly about my little chore chart project, seeking opinions from my fellow mommy advisers. Everyone said the same thing: my proposed system would be too cumbersome to stick to. I, myself, was reluctant to commit to this system because ultimately, I know I'm lazy. But here's what I've learned. Kids LOVE immediate payment for their hard work (don't we all!). They also complain and whine a whole lot less when they have more choices. Freedom within limits. Our system is still a work in progress, but we're headed in the right direction.


April said...

LOVE IT!!!!!!!! I've had this same chore chart bookmarked for some time now. I want to make one. Where did you get the steel sheets from? And I love the Mommy Dollars!! What a super idea. I just may have to copy you. Hope it keeps working for you.

Melinda (farleysmiles) said...

I love your chart, that is so cute and way better looking than any system I have ever done! I do hope you are able to maintain with the dollars, I've tried similar things before and I'm not good at keeping it up but I hope it continues for you! It does feel nice for the kids when they know what they need to do and they have a way to mark it themselves.

The Trumpsters said...

It looks AWESOME!!!!! I had a pretty good idea of what you were explaining but it looks even better than I had in my mind!!! I wanted to do the magnets with pictures but when I made mine I had reached my limit late at night and REALLY wanted to have them up by the next morning lol! I may have to do that for Abby, I really think it'd help her. Where did you get your pictures? I'm impressed- good job once again!

Sare said...

I LOVE IT!!! When I get the motivation (and space for a huge sign), I am totally copying that (hope ya don't mind). What are all of the pictures for? I can't see them all. Where did the idea come from (or did you come up with it/combine other ideas). When are you going to get a mom of the year award? Seriously!

Katie said...

That looks great! We have a similar reward system for chores, but they get "media money." Each media dollar is worth an hour of television, and it costs four media dollars for an hour on the computer. (They love spending time on the computer, so we knew they'd save them up for the computer, ultimately, spending less time in front of the television.)

I've been looking for a cute chart for our kids. Ours currently is a white board in the hallway that I change each day.

Stephanie said...

LOVE THIS!!!! And I don't usually love everything because so many people already do. :) I'm going to copy your idea on this one. It sounds like we live parallel lives.

Ke'lona said...

I love this idea, but I cannot find the small "metal roofing shingles" that are used to make it magnetic ANYWHERE! I checked Home Depot, Lowes... did you use something different? Or where did you buy them and how expensive were they? (Are they called something different?)

I'm going nuts just trying to find cheap, thin, inexpensive metal to create the magnetic surface. :(


Danelle said...

I got the metal roofing shingles at home depot. I think they we like 60 cents a piece. Really cheap. The workers at the store didn't know what I was talking about so I just searched around the roofing isle until I found what I needed. Mine were a little bigger than the original tutorial. Good luck! You could also try a sheet metal distributor.