FINALLY! Something that is somewhat working for chores! We have tried charts, allowances, regular weekly chores, and nothing really worked. Consistency. Consistency is something I struggle with in making them follow through.
So I turned to the Meca of Mommy ideas - Pinterest. And hit gold. (so far anyway)
Kirsten at Embellish designed the sticks and her sight features a free downloadable 'chore sticks' file and directions for making the sticks. It is alot of pages with alot of chores. I choose to print only the pages that I thought we would use and instead printed several pages of blank sticks for custom chores.
So with sticks, jar, and chore chart made - here's what is working for us:
- We try to have our 'draw chore' day on Sunday so that they have all week to work on them. Chores have to be done by Saturday night to get paid.
- With three kids working at them, we have 40 main chores. 38 that are split into two piles (19 for every other week) and 2 extra that are in the jar every week (Freebee & Trade Chore sticks).
- The kids like the freebee and trade sticks. Unless they are the kids that doesn't get the freebee or trade chore stick.
- So it works out with us to have 21 sticks each week, or 7 each. I begin by having them each draw specific colors so the main jobs (like bathroom and kitchen) are split equally between them. They place them in their pocket on the left and when it is done, move it over to the right, also where they store their 'chore bucks'.
- Chore bucks are in 5s and 1s - I just printed them off the internet as well. The kids get $5 a week IF they have done all of their 7 chores well. If they miss one or two chores, they are docked accordingly.
- The reason I chose chore bucks vs. real money is that they tend to burn through real ones alot quicker. Usually on dumb stuff like gum or chips. With the chore bucks, they tend to save more. The way we work it is with my debit card. When we shop, they just know how many $$ they have and I just pay with my debit when they find something they want. Eventually, we will move to them having real money so they learn the fun of taxes eating up more than the pricetag, but for now, this is working. The bucks can also be traded for real ones if they need money for something at school or to give their tithe.
- The spare sticks - they hang out in the can all week and can be used at mom's discretion. They are a little harder chores, like cleaning out the fridge, refolding all the clothes in your drawers, dusting all the dustboards. "You were talking really mean to your sister - go pull a chore stick".
- I also have chores that may be room specific that I can just add to their pockets when they need to be done - vacuum your room, put your clothes away, dust your room. Things that aren't every other week chores, but need to be done asap.
- If by Saturday, one of the kids hasn't completed one of the chores, I'll ask one of the other kids if they want to do the job and give them the $1 or $2 from kid #1. "Congratulations, you just paid your brother to vacuum the TV room".