I thought I had tried everything, encouraging kids, nagging, bribery to get my kids to help out… but I think I have now finally found the key!!!!!
Personal Checklists!!!! In order to make their responsiblites feel more personalized and give them ownership, I needed to somehow hand them off to them. Let them take more responsibility. Right? So I went to the dollar store and purchased frames, sequence ribbon, fancy stickers, and alphabet beads to let them decorate and label with their name on each their own framed checklist chart.
Each kid has the same checklist. With Dresden, the three year old, I don’t expect as much from her but she still has the same checklist and eventually I will hold her accountable at the same level. The main difference now is instead of practicing the piano she gets a check for using the potty each day and not having any accidents since this a fairly newly learned skill.
The “extra” chore on the checklist means some extra chore I asked them to do within the course of the day like “pick up the living room” or “sweep the kitchen floor”. They are not perfectly great at it but as long as I see they are giving an effort it counts.
Once they decorated their frames, I put their checklist inside and glued on four magnets so that it can hang up easily accessible to their height on the fridge. They will then use dry erase markers to check off their checks each day right on the glass of the frame. It easily comes off with a paper towel and works just like a dry erase board. At the end of the week they will tally up their points and put their grand total in the upper right hand corner and then erase the checks to start over.
Point 2 that is making this successful is that now Grandma is on board to help. Bless her! She loves for the kids to Face time her. Now during her conversations with them she will ask them how they are doing with their checks. Not only do they not want to disappoint their Grandma but she offered to give them a cash reward each week for a certain number of checks like an allowance.
Suddenly the girls were a quite a bit more enthusiastic about these checks. They were asking what they could do to help and the whining was subdued immensely! I will have to report back but this is looking good. I am excited to see how things will pan out these next couple of weeks before school starts.
It is not only teaching them responsibility and self reliance that they will need in adulthood but the importance of consistent diligence. We all need this. Speaking of which, I need to fine tune my own checklist. 🙂 Whoohoo, I am excited to see how things pan out!