Every summer I try a new chores system for our family – some with more success than others! Here is this year’s:
My kids are 13 and 17 now, and I find that each year they need a new system that rises to their abilities and meets their needs at each age.
For the past few years we’ve used a system that gives “chores” to everyone in the family, not just the kids. I find it helps them understand that there is work that we all do, parents too, to help keep the family going, and everyone pitches in with that work.
This year I’ve simplified the chart to a single daily chore for rotation for each of us, keeping just the ‘bigger’ chores. MY KIDS STILL HAVE OTHER CHORES! My 17-year-old does his own laundry, is responsible for keeping his own room clean as well as shared family spaces he uses, he takes the trash out once/week, etc. The goal of this chart is just to focus on daily chores that are family care rather than personal care. We also chose these to help teach some skills we know they each need to work on. In particular, we are always trying to encourage more cooking experience for each of them! I think often about making sure my teenagers have learned all the skills they need to be successful adults and chores are a great way to do that learning.
I made our Family Jobs chart using The Trip Clip® website.
- I used the Chore Chart Activity to add the chores I wanted to my list.
- I selected “Weekly – vertical” in the radio buttons on the left.
- I edited the text to make the task clear. In the past the task has been to unload the dishwasher, but we want the kids to know be responsible for loading in any dirty dishes that accumulated on the counter over night too.
- I chose to print on a full sheet of paper in the Print Setting.
- I printed the chart on regular paper and hung it on the fridge
- Then I made magnets for each member of the family. I did this using the Print Your Own Magnets feature. The small magnets fit perfectly on the weekly chart printed in full page mode. Note that you could easily make this a Hook & Loop list if you prefer, or simply print it on paper and write in each family member’s name for the job they pick.
We have learned over the years that what works best for our family is to allow some amount of choice when it comes to chores. To use this system, we will have a family chore picking session on Sunday night. We will rotate through picking chores for the week one at a time. My eldest prefers to take walk the dog as often has he can, so tries to grab all of those, though we ask him to help with dinner (or better yet, cook it all on his own) once/week. My younger son likes to cook and tries to snag that task, but knows he doesn’t love having to help with dinner every night so he varies his choices some. We did something very similar to this last year and it generally worked pretty well for us.
If you have a chore system that works for you, I’d love to see pictures of it! You can contact me through the comments section below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!