Completing chores gives kids a sense of accomplishment.
Sometimes it may seem easier to do all the household tasks yourself than argue with your little darlings for the hundredth time about putting their laundry away before they flop down in front of the television. But chores are important for teaching kids how to be responsible and work as part of a team. Once the habits are established, having kids do some chores will also free up a bit of time for parents to enjoy their own hobbies or work on other projects.
1Label the magnetic board with the child's name. Using stickers or a colored strip of adhesive magnetic sheet, divide the board into two sections, right and left.
2Decide what chores a child should have. Remember that if a kid has never done a chore before in her life, a long list may overwhelm her. Start small, and you can always add in more later. It can also help to include things you know she does already -- like washing her face or brushing her teeth before bed -- so she has a built-in sense of accomplishment.
3Create magnets by cutting the adhesive magnetic sheets into smaller pieces. Use markers to write the chores you want done on the magnet -- for example, "empty dishwasher" or "make bed." If children are too young to read, a crude drawing of the chore you want accomplished should do the trick, or you can stick a photo to the magnet. Line all the magnets up on the left side of the magnet board.
4Explain the new system to kids so they know what chores are now their responsibility and how to work the chart. As each chore is completed, simply move the magnet from the left side of the board to the right. Each night before bed, all the magnets should be in the "finished" column. If your child will be getting a reward for doing chores, such as an allowance or special privilege, now's the time to explain that as well.
5Review your chore list from time to time and remember to be flexible. If one approach to getting chores done isn't working, try something else. Listen to kids' concerns when it comes to certain chores. It can also be helpful to ask friends who have kids the same age what chores their child is doing to get a feel for what kids that age are capable of.
- Adhesive magnetic sheets are paper-sized sheets of paper that are sticky on one side. When you purchase these sheets, there will be a piece of plain paper affixed to the sticky side. You can either draw right on these sheets and then cut them out, or peel off the paper that comes on the sheet and affix drawings, pictures or photos of the chores. Then cut the magnets to the desired size. Magnetic sheets can be found in most craft stores, as well as in office-supply stores and in department stores in the section where you would find notebooks and writing supplies.
- If kids are ignoring or doing a poor job of chores that you know they are capable of and have time for, it may be time to stop being Mr. Nice Guy. Cutting back or eliminating allowance, or restricting time spent in front of the TV, Internet or gaming console, may be enough to make your child realize that emptying out the cat litter isn't so bad after all!
Things You'll Need
- Magnetic board for each child
- Adhesive magnetic sheets