She dropped her coat in the middle of the living room floor and threw a smirk in her brother’s direction. He glanced at the coat and then back at her as his face grew beet red. “You will pick that up right now,” he demanded. She flung her hair as she swung around to leave the room. “No.” she bantered back at him. “The living room is not my zone.”
All at once I had two huge problems. Kids who were mean to each other AND a chore system that wasn’t quite working the way I had planned. Ever been there?
This chore thing was supposed to instill character into their hearts and help them feel the responsibility of being part of a family. I don’t remember reading about this kind of sibling rivalry in the rule book. I have to admit, this is about the point when it’s almost easier to give up. I mean, they still require reminders. They purposely sabotage each other. AND, even when they do the job, it’s often lousy.
I think it’s time for a chore intervention. Don’t ya think?
Last fall I shared with you my simple chore chart. It’s something that took years of parenting and practice to get just the way I wanted it. And if I’m being honest, the above scenario isn’t all that frequent in our home. Most of the time, our chore system works pretty well.
But I have found that lately I’ve been struggling with the question of how to get kids to do their chores well. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone and create a fun challenge that would change the game.
Chore Challenge for Kids
The idea is simple. Using my original chore chart, children complete their chores in zones. Once they have their zone finished for the day, the challenge begins. We can play one of two ways: mom’s pick or peer judge. Both are pretty effective.
In mom’s pick, I use the score cards to pick the zone that has been done the best that day. In my house, that person gets a bonus $.25 in their allowance for the week, but you could keep score for a period of time and reward with other things.
I really like this idea because it teaches my kids to be able to handle the rejection of someone else getting picked, with a good attitude. It also teaches them that excellence is the standard I desire the most. A “good” job is a good thing, but I want them to understand the difference. I’ve found that children really need us to help them grasp this.
In peer judge, they each trade zones and check off the score card for their sibling’s zone. I find that this one can be brutal. They are way harder on each other than I am! Just like in mom’s pick, there is a winner chosen from the highest score and the 25 cent bonus is awarded.
The surprising result of this way was that my kids began to work together more to help their siblings attain the goal of a perfect zone. Remember the coat in the floor? I found that kind of thing happened less often because they suddenly wanted to see their siblings succeed at the chore challenge.
Wanna play? Download your free Chore Challenge cards today! They fully editable to add the tasks that work for your family!
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I have made a fully editable version of the chore chart, plus the chore challenge. I pray that these free printables bless your family and help you to bless others this year.
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