Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pocket Chore Chart of Choices

I have a hard time throwing things away. Like old pairs of pants that are torn up and can't be worn. It's still fabric you know and I just can't bring myself to throw them away. So I've been collecting pockets from our old worn out pants for the past while and have been pondering what to do with them.
Add to that, the fact that I've been trying to teach my kids to do chores. To not much avail! They fight me on it and I'm terribly inconsistent. So this is what I came up with.

The Chore Chart of Choices

I was experiencing the big dilemma of rewards vs. punishment. It seems like most people claim rewards work better and are better, but I have a certain child who doesn't really care if there is a reward, she just refuses to do chores if she doesn't want to. This leads me to be inconsistent with the consequences of her disobedience and depending on my mood I do anything from ignoring her and just doing the chore myself, to getting angry and doling out random punishments. But then I realized that it's not really fair to her that I randomly just ask her to do a chore every few days and expect her to do it on my own time, or suffer an unknown consequence, or none at all.
So all this pondering led me to the choices chart. I thought, why not combine rewards and punishments and teach the kids about choice and consequences. In other words, accountability. It might sound complicated, but it makes sense to me.
So they will be required to choose some chores from the chore pockets each day. They may choose to do the chore if they wish and when it's done they can pick a reward. If they choose not to do the chore they can pick a punishment. I really think this will save me from getting frustrated and angry because I don't really care what they choose (don't tell them that though) as long as they are learning a lesson here not only about helping out with chores around the house, but also how every choice brings consequences.
The chores are age appropriate things they can accomplish mostly on their own. The rewards range from getting a piggy back ride to having some screen time. The punishments are also age appropriate and range from sitting in timeout to losing toys.
I think in life we can make choices and sometimes we have a good idea of what the consequence will be (If I don't pay this bill, I'll probably be fined) but sometimes we don't comprehend the consequence until it happens. So, the punishments vary but I try to match them to the chore.
We'll see how this little experiment works. I already know that one certain child of mine will be excited to do the chores and pick the rewards every time. I am curious to see how the other one reacts to it, and how often she will choose to just take the punishment.


  1. Very cool! It's fun to see you seeing and blogging about it again. This looks like a very fun way to make chores interesting and rewarding. I hope your girls are motivated to pitch in.

  2. Thanks for your support Mom! And just for a little one day update, this worked out amazingly yesterday! The kids came home from school and were super excited to try out the chart and they all chose to do the chores and get the rewards. And they did the chores happily. We'll see how long this lasts.

  3. What an interesting idea! I will have to consider it. Right now my kids have daily chores they do and can earn a dollar at the end of the week. I didn't want to pay them for chores but it has worked out great. No chores = no money. When ever they want a toy, or a treat or a trip to the dollar store I ask them if they have the money. I no longer have to pay for these things. Eliza saved her money for months and bought some polly pockets. They still are expected to make their bed and stuff like that without pay because they are in the family!