Active parenting to foster a love of reading from infancy

Are you frustrated that you have to ask your children not once, but several times, to do their chores and still they don’t get them done? You’d think your children have developed hearing problems or they have learned to tune you out. It may be time for you to try a new strategy.

Have you ever thought of using a chore chart? You can use it to prod your children to do their chores and teach them a few valuable things in the process. You can assign your children chores such as cleaning their room, taking out the garbage, doing yard work, doing the dishes, and folding up their clothes.

Give your children their own chore chart that lists the chores they need to accomplish each week. Let your children know that they only need to do each chore on their list once or twice each week. Each time they complete a chore, they can check it off their chore list. At the end of the week, you and your children can have a “meeting” and look over their chore charts and see what they have accomplished. Praise your children’s accomplishments. Your children will learn to take pride in their work and in completing what they have been assigned to do for the week.

Before implementing the chore chart, sit down with your children and explain your plans and how you need their help. Talk to them about the rewards for each task they accomplish. Rewards can be monetary or non-monetary. Give your children the option of choosing what kind of reward they want to receive for accomplishing their chores. This will make them feel more motivated to participate.

If you are going to pay your children for completing their chores with non-monetary incentives, make sure they understand the rules for getting the non-monetary payment. For instance, they can spend two hours playing video games each weekend only if they successfully complete all the chores in their list. If they don’t, they don’t get to play. You can even make it more fun for your children if you issue their rewards as coupons that they can redeem when they want.

As for monetary rewards, be sure that the amount of money your children receive is age appropriate and given regularly. For instance, your children can earn 50 cents per year of age. Thus, you can pay your 6-year-old daughter $3 per week if she completes all the tasks in her chore list and you can pay your 9-year-old son $4.50 per week if he completes all the tasks in his chore list. Again, make sure your children understand the rules for getting the monetary payment. If they do not complete their chores for the week, they do not get paid.

If you are paying your children money for completing their chores each week, know that this is a wonderful opportunity for you as a parent to teach your children the importance of the three S’s as they pertain to money: Save, Share, Spend. You can teach your child to divide their earnings in thirds. They can save a third, share another third to others, and spend a third for themselves.

Some parents would “pay” their children for every task they accomplish. However, this strategy is not going to teach your children the value of completing tasks that have been given them. It will only teach them to become selective in what to do for the week since they know they will get a reward, monetary or non-monetary, even if they only manage to accomplish one or two tasks from their chore list.

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