It took a little while to explain this pun to my daughter, “You know, ‘Summer fun or Some are Fun and Some are not.’” She didn’t really get until I wrote it out, and was “encouraged” by her brother who teased her about being too slow. What’s with older brothers — usually kind, but on occasion, kind of mean!? And speaking about being slow, I was a little slow to insert my dominance as Super Mom and insisting that we have some kind of chores that everyone is responsible for over the summer. It’s the middle of June and we’re just getting this together.
When I had all little ones afoot, it seemed chore charts were easier to create and to have everyone follow. When teens began to dominant the household, this mom got soft. For me to make my teens do chores this summer, I needed a push, some encouragement. Interestingly, I found this encouragement from an article on a blog from my Calendar app (Cozi), of all places. I normally would not even pay attention to another mom suggesting chore charts, because usually I’d think I had more experience than most mothers in this arena. But the mom in this article had a house full of teens, even young adults, who were apparently doing chores. I said to myself, “If she can do chores with teens, so can I.”
I had to convince myself that it’s OK for teens that live under my roof to contribute to household duties — even if they have summer jobs. My next step was to open Google Docs. I like to use Google Docs and Google Sheets because these are easy to share with my teens. And not only will they have this electronic copy that they can write on and share back, but I also print one out for those who like the physical list, or are not on their computers as much. Here is a sample of one of my teen son’s chore chart. Some of this won’t make sense to you, but I wanted you see our actual chart:
I still have a little one at home and am doing a fun chore option with her. She is seven. In the past for kids this age, I’ve used index cards and pockets, magnets, dry erase boards, and other fun check-off methods. This summer, my daughter is using a chart with clothespins. Here is a video that shows how we made it, as well as the chores she has for the summer.
The hardest part actually isn’t setting up the chores, but following through. I’ve set some pretty strict consequences (for me, anyway). The teens need to have the chores done by 2:00 and absolutely no screens until these are done. If they are not done by 2:00, I will take their phones. (Wow — I mean business!)
For my daughter, she simply can’t play with the neighbors or go to the pool until these are finished.
Has this helped to encourage you to give your children some responsibilities around the home? I hope so. Remember, many experts say that this — doing chores — is very good for kids, so even though you may receive some flack, it’s actually the loving thing to do. That’s the motivation we need to keep it going (and having a cleaner house isn’t so bad, either!)
Copyright 2019 Tami Kiser