This week I finally implemented our chore chart. I decided to incorporate the beginning of chores with the beginning of school. If my daughters are expected to clean up at preschool, then surely they should be expected to clean up at home.
There are three chores they must complete each day: make their beds, pick up their toys and put their clothes in the hamper. With the completion of each task a sticker is placed on the chart. Certain spaces on the chart have a star. When a sticker covers the star they get to pick a prize.
Typically they'll be picking a prize once a week. In order to have them grasp the concept, their first "prize spot" came on the second day of the chore chart. I had already shown them the prizes they could pick so they were very excited to dig into the prize bag.
Ever since seeing the prizes Tortilla talked nonstop about the Hello Kitty hair clips in the bag. She couldn't wait to pick them. Cakes insisted she wanted a rainbow head band. Then the big day came. Roo picked first. She chose a blue Iron Man frisbee. Then Tortilla picked. I mentioned the hair clips, but she was adamant about picking an orange Iron Man frisbee. Cakes picked the rainbow head band. Sue Sue chose an Elmo book. Hubby, Roo and Tortilla had fun playing with the frisbees, but ten minutes later Tortilla decided she didn't like the frisbee. She wanted the hair clips. I explained several times that she'll have to wait until the next "star space" to pick a prize and then she can choose the hair clips. She was not happy. After awhile Roo wanted to give up her frisbee for an Elmo book.
I'm sure some parents would argue that I should simply stop giving my children prizes for doing chores. I look at it as a teaching tool. They don't receive prizes every day, but it's a way to get them excited about taking on responsibilities.
In some ways, I think the prize bag is helping them more than the actual act of doing their chores. They're learning how to make choices. They're also learning the consequences of choices. We're just a few days away from the next "prize space" and I will be encouraging each of them to think long and hard about which prize they'll choose.
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