This summer we are trying a new chore system at our house for our kids who are 11 and 15. We like to use the summers to introduce our kids to new chores. During the school year it can feel like too much to take on something new, but if they get into the routine over the summer they are often able to absorb the new chore into their school routine in the fall.
We started by making a list of shared daily household chores. There are other chores (like showering, or changing the sheets on their beds) that everyone needs to do daily or weekly, but we left those off of this list and focused on the ones that impact that whole family.
I used the Chore Chart activity from The Trip Clip to print out the list of chores and hang it on the fridge.
Once we had the list, we aimed to make it so that there are approximately 8 each day (2 per person). Some days there are a few more than 8, and my husband and I will pick up the extra chores those days. We’re hopeful that the extra jobs on some days will provide a little variety, and also teach them some additional jobs. And some days the kids will have to sign up for the wildcard “Parent’s Choice” in order to have 8 chores those days.
Next, I created magnets with our names on them using the Print Your Own Magnets feature of The Trip Clip. There are 2 name magnets for each member of the family. The idea is that everyone in the family, including me and my husband, will pitch in to help get these household chores done. We find that modeling the fact that these chores are shared by everyone, and benefit everyone, is an important part of the kids understanding that it’s not just work we’re forcing them to do, but work that is inherently part of running a household. And it’s also not just work that only parents have to do!
Our plan is to each pick 2 chores every morning and put our name by them. Right now, we’re going to let the kids pick first, and my husband and I will take what’s left. If they fight over chores, though, or maybe if they always pick the same chores, we may add some rules about not doing the same chore 2 days in a row. We plan to see how it goes and then make adjustments as needed.
We introduced the system to them this weekend, and so far the response has been pretty positive. They like the idea of getting some choice, and also that my husband and I are doing it with them.
Check back here in a few weeks and I will post an update on how this is working for us!