Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tip #1: Chore Charts are for the whole family!

Recently, I purchased a dry-erase magnetic chore chart (complete with star and reward magnets) for $9.99 (with FREE SHIPPING, ohmigod) from amazon.com to teach my son a thing or two about responsibility. After all, he's 8 and it's about time he started pulling some weight around these parts.

I was so excited when I got it in the mail. After unwrapping the ridiculous amount of packaging from said chart, I immediately went to business on filling in various chores I thought my son would do. I popped out all the little magnets, and carefully arranged them on the board.

Then I had an idea. What if I put MY chores on there too? I'm horrible at keeping up on the daily/weekly tasks that need to get done in the short amount of time I'm home. Brilliant. I added my own chores to the list, and indicated A for Angela and I for Ian on the board on the days when we were to complete each chore. I decided that for every 3 stars, we would earn 1 GOLD star, which could be redeemed for prizes, such as a night out at a cheap dinner and movie, a trip to the nickel arcade, a small shopping spree at our favorite thrift store, and dinner at our favorite restaurant, Sushi Sushi (CHEAP SUSHI!), on SE 82nd and Powell.

When Ian got home, we set about making a list of "prizes" and how many stars it would take to get each prize. Very proud of ourselves (insert high fives and woo hoos), we hung our chart on the fridge and wrote our list on the fridge (in dry-erase marker, of course).

This is what our first attempt looked like:


As you can see, we might have set our star count a little low. By week three, this is where we were at with our star count, which prompted me to choose a larger star goal for the flat screen TV. Ian has lofty ideas of how many stars we are going to earn, so decided to make the boxes where our star counts go MUCH larger:




We've tweaked the chart a good ten times, but the nice thing about it is that it's dry-erase, so we can change the chores for the week based on our schedules.

The benefits of the chore chart have been this:
1) My house has never been cleaner or smelled so good.
2) Both Ian and I are actually getting all of our chores done!
3) We're spending less money, because now we have to earn dinners out and fun things like movies and arcade trips. It's very rewarding!

So, the next time you think, "Maybe I should get a chore chart for the kids!", consider adding yourself on there too. You might be surprised at how much you get done!

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