Thursday, June 4, 2015

Have Summer Bummers? Make A Chore List.

The Headlines:


It's that time of year.

When kids start to go beserk-o... (otherwise known as Summer)

Unless they're kept on task.

Try a Chore List! 




Summer.  It's such a romanticized season.  I always have big dreams in my head about what is to come.  You know, beaches, cocktails, bikinis... but with kids... those dreams can sometimes turn into nightmares!

That's what happened last Summer.   Oh Good Lord was it bad... my 3 year old son (now 4) was PSYCHO!  I mean, we're talking complete crazy time.   My 7 year old daughter was better but also a little off.  You can read the story from 2014 HERE if you'd like.  If you're having a bad start to Summer... it may make you feel better.

I'm convinced it's simply because our kids are used to their school year routine and when it's gone they kind of don't know how to handle it.  Cause, well, they're kids.  So what do you do?  Sure, you can enroll them in camps to continue a type of routine but let's face it - camps every single week of Summer Break is not really Summer BREAK.

So, with the help of a friend, I came up with this:


It's a chore list.  Simple to create and enforce as long as you follow these 5 tips:

1 - Make a list that's tailored to a child's individual skills.
There's no way my 4 year old would or could put all his laundry away but my 8 year old can!  He also can't read for 20 minutes a day but he can do a letter writing app on the iPad!  Once your thoughts are organized, make a chart with all of the chores listed and a place to check them off as they're done throughout the day.



2 - Add "optionals"to the list.
Those are chores/ideas they must come up with themselves.  The "optionals" are supposed to either improve my day, their day or another person's day!  They must be approved by Mom.  Examples: making a card for a sick friend, picking up the backyard dog doo (which isn't on their daily list), clearing the dinner table.  You'll be surprised with what they do!



3 - Motivate them.
Clearly, in order for this to work, they need to get something out of it!  My kids love treats in the Summer.  They ask for Ice Cream almost every day.  But they have to earn their daily treats through the Chore list.  For instance, if they don't complete all the tasks on Monday, they don't get a treat on Tuesday.  It's kind of a "Will Work for Food" concept.

4 - Give them some earning power.
We also go one step further.  At the end of the week, we tally up the days they completed their list and they get a dollar for each day.  This is a chance to earn some serious cash over Summer!  If your kids understand money they'll be all about it.  If they don't (my 4 year old isn't phased much by it)... they won't.

5 - Keep them on track.
This only works if you actually do it.  They'll forget about it - so you can't.  There's always lulls in Summer days (that's kind of what Summer is for) and when that happens seize the opportunity to remind them of the chore list.


Bottom line, this really works for us.  So far, our Summer is off to a much better start compared to last Summer.  What it does is keep them on task, teaches responsibility in the home and it brings back a little routine to their life which comforts little ones.  Not to mention, it's a great way to keep your house clean!