Your Effective Family Chore Chart

by on July 20, 2009

in Just For Moms

In families there are chores that need doing, and sometimes mom and dad feel like they have to beg for help from the kids, or threaten them. One effective means of getting the whole family to pitch in is with chore charts. The following are tips for making chore charts more user friendly.

Tip one: Make them age appropriate.

A chore chart is a great idea, and there are numerous free printable ones on the Internet. However, not all of them will work for everyone. Different age children need different chores. A toddler can’t very well wash dishes, but they can put books on shelves, or toys in a bin. So, as you make your chore charts, make them as fair as possible, but also keep them age appropriate.

Kids can help out more than you think.Kids can help out more than you think.

Tip two: Break down the chores.

One of the best ways to make chore charts more effective, get a cleaner house, and chores done better is to be specific. This means instead of putting “Clean bathroom” as their chore, you put “Scrub toilet”, “Sweep bathroom floor”, “empty bathroom trash can”, “Clean sink”, “Wash mirror”, “Scrub tub”, etc. You break down the job into several smaller jobs to ensure a more thorough job gets done.

Tip three: Make them readable whether your kid can read or not

Part of having an effective chore chart is having one that kids can read. So, if your children are not reading yet, then use pictures instead. If you have “kitchen duty” down as a chore, make sure somewhere you describe what that entails. Otherwise you are going to get partial jobs done, and kids who do not know what they are supposed to be doing.

Tip four: Have a reward system

While children should do chores as a part of being an active part of the family, one of the best ways to make a chore chart more effective is by adding incentive. Many families choose to tie allowance to their chore charts. For example, you have a set amount of allowance allotted for each child, but they only get as much of it as they complete their chores. So, if they do 100% of their chores for the week, they get 100% of the allowance. If they do 80% they get 80% etc. Rewards, whether money, free time, toys, privileges, and so on, keeps kids far more motivated to do what the chore charts says for them to do.

Tip five: Get some input from everyone.

If you want your kids to follow what is assigned them on the chore chart, then make sure you have them help in the creating of it, and in the idea of it. If you get their support, then it will be more effective. So, make sure that they tell you what chores they prefer, and that they help you create it, as well as the reward system attached and the discipline if chores are not done.

Jake Boxer July 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm

I’ve been working really hard over the past few months on a website called called PowrHouse ( ). Your kids won’t be able to use if it they can’t read or use email, but if they can, it makes things a lot easier 🙂
It’s currently in beta, but it works well (we’re using it in our household). You add everyone you live with (kids, spouses, roommates, etc.), add your chores (names and how often they should be done), and PowrHouse keeps track of whose turn it is to do each chore (and sends email reminders every night, with links to click to signal that you’ve done the chores).
If you do end up using it, please contact me (my info is on the site) and let me know what you think, as I’m trying to make it as useful to all types of households as possible. If not, thanks at least for reading this far 🙂

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