Magic - a magnetic Chore Board

It was time to do the right thing and anticipating whining and battles, I decided children should have chores to do. Everything I've read says it's good for children to have responsibilities at home - chores. And while I wanted my children to do certain chores, I dreaded new battles or extensive administration to achieve this goal. A few weeks ago, wandering through Target, I decided to experiment with a Chore Board.

The first two weeks of the Chore Board experiment are a tremendous success. So much so that this item is one of my most practical of practical parenting recommendations.

Why I love the Board Dudes Chore Board:

  • It's a white board - and my kids loved being part of determining what the chores would be and assigning their turn for single person chores.  For example, the dog does not need to be fed by two people every day - she'd become a pudge.
  • It's magnetic and has magnetic stars for achievement.  They love when my husband, my au pair or I award them stars.
  • It assumes a tally of stars for a reward.  We let the children define the reward and they each chose to work towards a meal, out, alone with a parent.  Their reward is being with us - I could cry!
  • It's ecologically responsible - no additional paper in my house.
  • There's a forced limit on the number of chores and a forced expectation that they are daily.
  • There is no whining or fighting about doing the chores - even the toddler wants to get her stars.

We chose the following chores for our 8, 6 and 2 1/2 year old.

  1. Make your bed
  2. Toys away
  3. Clothing is put away
  4. Feed & Water the dog
  5. Set & Clear the table
  6. Unload the dishwasher
  7. Carry in the groceries
  8. Do your homework

On days where they have no homework, groceries or dishes to unload, they have to make sure to do all the rest or it will be hard to reach the award zone. My children feel empowered to control their destiny.

The results - their rooms have been clean for two weeks.  Their beds have been made every morning. I haven't lifted a dish other than putting them out for setting. The dog is happier.

Oh - at Target, the Chore Board costs $7.64.  Cannot get more practical than that!

Do you have your children do chores?  Which ones? Do they do them without complaint?  What do you do to promote responsibility at home?