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How to Use Printable Chore Charts for Children Effectively
Get the results you want. Fast!
A cleaner home.
Kids who do their chores without whining.
More free time (an interrupted bubble bath?).
As a busy mom, that's what you want. Read on and I will help
you get closer to these goals. I have 4 children and have been running
a household for over 30 years; I know some things work
other ideas just sit there looking pretty!
Below you find some simple printable chore charts and checklists you can print
out and start using in your homelife today. Remember, all chore charts
are really sample
charts. You need to customize them for maximum effectiveness.
WARNING! The below printable chore charts for children and household checklists for families won't do you
any good if you
just print them out, hang them on your fridge, go over the new 'rules'
with your family, then sit back and watch what happens.
You need a simple system when using your chore
charts to get the results you want. Here it is.
- Make a plan.
- Gather tools (like a printable chore chart) and learn to use those
effectively for your particular situation.
- Add easy training, then motivate and be consistent.
- Make adjustments over time, based on what's working and what's
not. Add new chore chart ideas one at a time to avoid overwhelm.
- Enjoy your success and celebrate!
"This is the best idea I've ever
Thank you so much. I'm a homeschool mom for a 10 and 8 year old and I
have a toddler. My husband is a marine and gone a lot. I needed these
charts and ideas. Thank you."
(Scroll down for more helpful tips below these free chore charts for families.)
Print this free chore chart
or Family Chore Game or
(Requires a PDF file reader such
as Adobe Acrobat Reader).
Step 1. Make a plan for using your chore charts.
Decide what you want to accomplish with your chore charts and use
that information like a
road map to get you where you want to go.
Here is an example nearly
everyone can relate to.
Desired end result:
A reasonably clean house on a near-daily basis.
Your kids helping without endless whining or nagging.
Using chore, behavior and reward charts plus other helpful resources, re-evaluate weekly
and you will be humming along in 30 days or less.
Sound good so far?
Step 2. Gather tools (such as kids charts) and learn to use
Keeping in mind our desired end result (above), print out the
charts or household checklists you want to use and gather lots of
ideas on house
cleaning/organizing to help
you during the set-up phase. Set up a safe spot on each level of your
cleaning supplies and buy enough supplies for each level of your home.
think you (or your kids) can be efficient if any of you have to run up
down stairs several times chasing down the appropriate cleaners, brooms
Key Point: Ideas are your best friend at this
Your household is unique, as well as your style of mothering. You need
the ideas about cleaning, decluttering, and motivating children (see my
Mama's Stress Busters)
that work best for you. I cannot emphasize this enough! If you don't
the time to customize your plan at this point, going beyond
just posting a printable chore chart or checklist, you will probably experience another round
disappointment! This isn't as hard as it may sound, either.
Get a reliable resource of organizational ideas (here's the declutter
resource I use plus some simple declutter
tips) that you can refer
to on an ongoing basis for maximum efficiency.
Step 3. Add easy training, then motivate and be consistent.
Have a training week. Post example charts and go
over how to use them. Clean alongside your kids, showing
them exactly what to do and how to do it. You probably have cleaning
standards (make sure they are reasonable) but your kids won't know what
unless you explain them. For younger children, plan on working
alongside of them
indefinitely as training takes more than one session. That's why they
call it 'parenting'. Frankly, if you consistently block out time to
home with your kids, you'll be surprised at how smooth
and efficient your team will get over time.
Avoid nagging (which never works), by deciding on a simple
system of rewards and consequences that supports your use of chore
charts. A good rule of thumb is that every child's checklist or chart should
lead to a reward in some way. For example, you might hold a competition
that rewards the
most complete chore charts
with prizes of a day or week off from doing chores. Believe me, that
will get everyone's attention!
An effective behavior or chore charts system must be age
appropriate, which means you may need more than one set of rewards and
consequences (you also may need separate printable chore charts for each person
participating. Don't try to stuff too much on just one chart).
Now for the motivation part. Everyone should be working
towards a goal that has meaning for them. A teenager appreciates a
privilege when he or she completes a week of chores on time, with no
whining. If he
doesn't get the job done there needs to be a reasonable consequence,
social life until the chores DO get done.
A five year old will be motivated by something different,
like a board game with Mom or the chance to make a homemade pizza with
Dad. You get the idea.
Key Point: Don't nag!
If the work doesn't get done, just point to the tasks chart and
You can say something like, "gee, that's too bad you didn't get your
jobs done this week. I thought you were going to the movies with your
friends this afternoon. I guess that will
have to wait until you get done." And then walk away. But stick to your
consistent in your mothering! The whole ball game revolves
around your ability to
stick to your pre-set rewards and consequences as earned on the kids'
remember; this is how the real world works and chore chart ideas need to reflect reality to be effective.
Another key point here is something many moms never consider but which
can really make a difference in how cooperative kids are around the
house. It's called routines. We've always used familiar
routines in our household to add valuable structure to our kids' daily
lives. What does this have to do with our core topic, you ask? Good
question. Printable chore charts for children are simply a tool to foster routine. But if
that's the only routine you're trying to establish in your home, you'll
probably find yourself fighting an uphill battle.
Step 4. Make adjustments using chore chart ideas and other
techniques over time.
Be bold. In addition to a simple
kids chore chart, try using your
organizing and declutter
idea resource (same resource I mentioned above)
to introduce a new tip each week, keeping the ones that work and
dropping the ones that don't.
Fine tune them to fit your homelife needs. Use your previous weeks'
see where family members had difficulty keeping up so you can
troubleshoot problems effectively, and then customize your kids' chore
to reflect your household's unique needs. Ask your kids for their
input, pointing out that the bottom line is to quickly keep the house
clean each day without
complaints so you all can get onto other activities. They may have
great ideas of their own on how to accomplish
any case, they need to have a voice, but you get the
Step 5. Success using printable chore charts for kids!
While you may not think of success as a separate step, give
it a try. This is where the fun comes in. Occasionally, have a
celebration with your team. Post the winning kids charts in a
place of honor and brag
on them. Treat everyone to ice cream. Rent a movie together. Make a
memory as a family.
Key Point: This step is the one that
cements your kids' understanding of what is really going on here.
Sure, it's fun to check off items on the chore chart every day. And it
really does (secretly) feel good
to be productive. But when you, Mom, are enthusiastic about the whole
process, your kids start to understand that the REAL point here is
on a common goal. It's not just about filling out blank chore charts. It's about
problem-solving. It's learning self-discipline. In other words, it's
Wrapping up all these chore chart ideas.
Once you get this process down pat, you'll likely
see other areas in your household that can benefit from it, also.
Go for it! Using effective mothering tools like kids chore lists, plus
developing a team concept with your family, can calm a frazzled
homelife as well
as free up significant time in any busy household.
Can you say 'bubble bath'?
Feedback from moms who have visited this page:
"Nice and full of informations for moms. I
like your website. Thank you for all the tips and infos."
"I nearly started crying from excitement when
I found your site you have so many useful stories!! Keep it up there
are alot of parents that could benefit I am definitely one of them.
"I'm using your charts and giving them to my
friends. We-the whole family, not just mom are working on organizing.
FAMILY POWER getting ORGANIZED this year!
Moms can Conquer Together.
"I love your site! The advice is great! And
the charts are awesome! Thank you."
"This site is full of usefull tips to help my family get
organized and to enjoy life with my kids with less stress..."
Thanks for contributing to our page on effective chore chart usage!
Colleen Langenfeld is a mother with over 29 years of parenting experience and helps other busy moms around the globe at www.paintedgold.com.
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