Friday, September 3, 2010

Getting your children to take responsibility

OK So I wanted to take some time to encourage all of your with children :)  I know PLENTY of you already do this at home- YEAH!!!!  Some of you may have not started ....yet.......  And some of you this really just hasn't crossed your mind.  
As a mom one of our jobs is to help our children learn.  So I want to encourage you if you have not helped your children learn how to help around the home- start with something. 

YES  It can be intimidating.  If you are like me- you will be like, but if I let them help they won't do it right and I will just end up doing it for them, or after them.  YEP- THIS IS ME!!!  Completely waaayyyyy over the top :)  BUT I know that my mom taught me something far more valuable by having us help around the home.  Did this drive my mom nuts- OH YEAH!!!  But, when we went to college we all knew how to do laundry, take care of our clothes, things, clean up after ourselves, and yes do it well.  

So although the charts you see below are our charts.....any starting point is GOOD! 

MON TUES   WED THURS     FRI SAT    Responsibilities
Abigail               Joshua               Andrew          Feed Pets
   and                 and                    Jonathan         Take Teddy out
Elizabeth            Sarah                Matthew          Pick up toys at end of day

Andrew           Abigail                 Joshua            Empty Dishwasher
Jonathan          and                      and                Help With Meals
Matthew          Elizabeth             Sarah              Set Up Table
                                                                         Do Trash
Joshua             Andrew              Abigail       Clear Table, Wipe table down
   and               Jonathan             and                Fill Dishwasher
Sarah               Matthew            Elizabeth         Help with Laundry

Everyone- Morning                                    Everyone- Evening
Get dressed                                                  Get into pj’s
Make Bed/Clean Bed                                   Brush Teeth
Do Chores                                                    Do Chores
Brush teeth after Breakfast                             Put away clothes                      
                                                                     Get book- be quiet in bed

The above is our general responsibility chart.  I have put our kids in pairs mainly because we have a few or more- he he he he.....  I also think that having them work together is more fun.  They are paired with an older child and younger child.  This DID NOT happen overnight.  It started for just a rotation of who picks up toys.  In the beginning when we started I would help them pick up toys.  I showed them where things went.  We reviewed this over and over.  Then as they grew up....I added a thing or two here or there.  It was "hey Andrew can you help clear the table and bring stuff to the dishwasher."  Eventually when they all started getting to be 6, 7, 8, etc.  I decided they could handle more.  That is how the above chart was started.  
I have added to it since then.  Added more children :)  & more responsibilities.  In our home these are part of being in our family.  Our children do the responsibilities because they get to eat, sleep, play, and have fun here in our home, but I can not do this by myself :)  They do get an allowance, but it really isn't connected to doing responsibilities.  (*future post on discipline in the Wright home).

When do they start?  At 2 years old.  Do they carry big plates at 2- NO WAY!  But they can help pick up something as far as toys.  Like something specific- today Jonathan you will pick up all the little cars and put them in this box.  That would be his only job.  Maybe at lunch he would bring over the plastic cups we drink out of.  For pets he would "help" get the snack for the dog, etc.  As he gets older and can handle more the other 2 boys will let him do more. 

And then we have the "chart" below....imagine all of our schedules and charts on laminated paper- he he he because they are (that's the way I roll).  That way they are more child resistant,  and for the following chart- each section rotates between the oldest 5 each week- I put their initials next to the "section" of work they are to do for the weekly cleaning.

Weekly Cleaning:

Girls’ Room/Bathroom:
    clean toilet
    clean tub
    clean sink
    sweep floor
    vacuum room
    clean mirror doors
sweep front porch
vacuum toy room
sweep laundry room
clean tan couches

Boys’ Room/Bathroom:
    clean toilet
    clean tub
    clean sink
    sweep floor
    vacuum room
    clean entry hall mirror
sweep back porch
vacuum homeschool room
sweep kitchen
clean black couches

clean eating table
clean brown table
clean changing table
clean counters & sink
vacuum mommy & daddy’s room
vacuum rug- that the cedar chest is on

I would LOVE to hear comments & questions on the above or on our homeschool schedule.  I have already received some and plan on doing future posts.  AGAIN- this is an ENCOURAGEMENT!!!!  You DO NOT have to be me- PLEASE DON'T and DON'T in any way think I am supermom......sooo faarrrrr from the truth.  I just want to help you think about it....ask questions....and to most of all ENCOURAGE YOU in your parenting!!!!!!  
It is a pretty hard road to try to do it all alone :)  That is why I really really love blog land. :)  It's even better when you get to meet each other on rare occasions. 

I would also LOVE to learn what you do- beware I am totally capable and will steal cool ideas I think will work for our family :)


  1. love this post...and I was ust in the process of "updating" our chore system:) Something I am doing with my littles who can't yet read: Get one of those id/badge holder things that you wear around your neck. Take pictures of chores, such as sweep the floor, pick up toys, wipe windows (with a paper towel and a wee bit of windex, just to learn how!) and all of the other chores. Laminate the pictures. Each morning, I put the pictures of the chores they need to complete in the clear id thing-y and before we start school, the kiddos grap their holders and complete the chores in them. They love when I put a picture for a random chore...or a picture of piece of condy:) in it. When they are finished, they hang it up, and it's time for school! good and fun for kiddos who can't yet read the chore chart!

  2. GREAT GREAT ideas! i always think my kids are too young (3,2,1) but they could start helping with laundry! and i LOVE the photo of all the kids!!

  3. I get a big fat "FAIL" in this area... I need to get better- for me and my kiddos!

    Hmmmm... a chart may work (any reason to laminate :)

    Love it...

  4. I thrive on schedules so this helps me and it also makes life predictable for my people. Thinking...we may need more people! :)

  5. I will say I have it easy with Abbie. She came from the orphanage knowing she had chores to do and she is really great about doing them still.

    Both my itty bitties puttheir clothes each night in the hapers and they know they have to turn them right side out before doing so.

    Every night they know they have to put up the toys they bring out and my babysitter made up a little song that they sing when it's chore time which makes it a little fun too! =)

  6. We have a daily chore chart of things that MUST get done and then a list of optional chores.
    I have to say I am probably the luckiest momma right now becuase my kids FIGHT over who gets to do chores, so the daily list is always done without momma even needing to say a word and the optionals get done most days.
    It didnt start like this. It started as a contest between the girls to see who could get to a certain amount of stars first. They got to the goal months ago, but that same spirit has stuck. And while they were earning, they were always asking if they could do more to help, so they all learned how to dust and vacuum and now, 2 of them can do laundry. Some days... I dont even have to do any chores! I love those days!
    I know our kids are not the norm... they are older and 2 of them came from a very messy dirty home and now relish the cleanliness and neatness of our home, so they enjoy the cleaning. They enjoy the sense of accomplishment.
    And Madi just loves to help. she will help with ANYTHING... even cleaning up after the dogs do their business!

    One thing that we have done in the past for littler kids that we have had is do a laminated chore chart with pictures!! We had a morning one... with pictures of EVERY step. It really helped them feel independent and helped me let them be independent.

  7. I love schedules! Really helps our lives run a little smoother, ecspecially when homeschooling. Helps me balance it all! I think your schooling chart and chore chart looks great. My children are younger so our chore chart isn't quite as elaborate, but we still make sure everybody has a job to do. Looking forward to your post on discipline!

  8. Though you have more kids than me (I have 5), your daily schedule/plans and chores look similar to mine. I put our chores on notecards with pictures for the littles that can't read and my oldest is only 7. But, I do expect them to help around the house and they LOVE it! I do much of our main curriculum together with my 7, 5 and 4 yr old and they understand way more than you'd ever expect! I love homeschooling. Just wanted to say hi!

  9. This is SO similar to what we do at home as well, right down to the jobs you assign and the age you start.
    And, right now, Lord knows, I need all the help I can get .

    ps Thank you SO much for your prayers and friendship. It has helped me just knowing there are so many people lifting our family up in prayers,

  10. We have chores too! Sometimes things do not work out the way I hope, or plan, but all of the kids have their own responsibilities! Even our 2 year old helps with pushing laundry baskets from the bedrooms to the laundry room! I think responsibilities will ensure capability as adults!

  11. Well, it appears as though you are as crazy as I am with your lists and such! :o)

    I have tried so many things with chore charts for the boys....UUGH. We have a few daily chores down pat (making beds, getting dressed, putting on their lotion), but I can't seem to get beyond that.

    During the first two weeks of school, we tried something new. The kids did GREAT for several days, but then started slacking MAJORLY. For the past several days, I have opted to stand over them as they do their chores, to make sure they get done and get done right. It is very time consuming and frustrating. questions:
    1. When/how do you inspect to make sure everyone is completing their chores, and doing so correctly?
    2. Do you offer rewards or threaten consequences for not completing assigned jobs?

    I don't think the chores on our list were difficult: I showed them how to clean their bathroom properly, how to put their lotion on properly, how to brush their teeth properly, how to feed the dog, how to put everyone's shoes where they belong in the foyer, how to make sure their backpacks were in their room before bed and their lunch boxes/thermoses were on the kitchen table....

    But no matter how much we've done it with them, no matter the rewards, no matter the consequences....beds are made sloppily, backpacks are left in the foyer, lunch boxes are not where they need to be, the dog has not been fed, the bathroom is get the point. :O) Looking forward to hearing more from you on this.... :)