By Brook Noel
Chore and reward systems are one of the most important keys for managing the busy household. A good system can inspire children while teaching them responsibility and discipline — not to mention easing your own commitments.
The basics, a chore and reward system is a visual tool that lets children perform household tasks in order to earn something they would really like.
Make a list of what you need help with. If you had it your way, what would you delegate around the house? Perhaps cooking or cleaning up after dinner? Does laundry or dusting make you cringe? What about taking out garbage or mowing the lawn? Write down any responsibilities you’d like to delegate that are age-appropriate for your children.
Next, ask your children to tell you something they would really, really like. Find a picture of this item and place it on a piece of construction paper. Using your list of tasks, create a “road” that leads to the item. As they complete each task, initial it, and once they work through the road they get their requested item.
Chore and Reward Systems with Toddlers, chore and reward systems can work with children as young as two! True they won’t be very efficient at vacuuming but there are ways they can help make the days go smoother.
I used a system with my daughter that models the above. Using a piece of construction paper I made twenty 1x1 inch squares. At the bottom I made one large square and put a picture of an Elmo helium balloon. Each time she cleaned up her toys, was a good listener for the day, got dressed without a fight, went to sleep without a fight or went to the bathroom “on the potty,” I let her choose a sticker to place on a square. (The stickers were all her favorite characters and animals, dinosaurs, Barney, butterflies, etc.)
When the sheet was full, we made a special adventure out of purchasing her balloon. We went to the store and bought only the balloon, taking great care to pick one out.
An excerpt from, The Change Your Life Challenge: A 70 Day Life Makeover Program for Women, written by Brook Noel.
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