Our rules for chores are pretty simple. The older you are, the more chores you have to do. Ian (6) is 10 mins a day, Charlie (8) is 15 mins a day, Max (10) is 20mins a day.
Max doesn’t have a problem with this, and Ian always needs a hint (dad, what can I do), but Charlie has fought tooth and nail. A week ago she decided to “do what Leo and Raphi do” and make a chart. She made a list of chores and a list of people and assigned someone to chores every day. It probably took her an hour. There were plenty of errors but I mostly let her go. For example:
- Max had 3 days with NO chores one week.
- Ian had some days with 4 chores.
- Sometimes someone had to “fill up the dishwasher” but since someone else had to empty it it couldn’t get done.
- No one wants to be scrubbing pots and pans four times in the same week, and if the same person is cleaning the bathroom that’s just patently unfair.
A day after it was built Charlie and Max put their heads together and came up with the current version. (The one place I intervened was I made it clear that the number of chores in a week should be age dependent).
It’s worked great. It used to be I’d say “did you do your chores today” and I’d instantly get “I don’t know what to do”. Now they run upstairs and look at the chart. Or if the dishwasher isn’t emptied I say “Who’s on dishwasher?” and they just look it up. This morning Ian walked downstairs carrying the laundry from upstairs and went straight to the washing machine to do his chore happy as a bug. Charlie hasn’t melted down once in the past week about chores.
I probably could have made the chart, but the fact that it was *their* idea really has made all the difference.
Honestly they’re doing *less* chores every day than before, and they missed some things on their list (clearing and washing the kitchen table, cleaning living room), but I’m willing to accept that for a few weeks while we dive into this new system.