Friday, July 6, 2012

Introducing Family Rules

This post is a continuation of Cautiously Optimistic.

While googling suggestions for chore charts etc, I came across one mom blog that helped put a different spin on the whole chore chart thing.  You see her "chore charts" say, My name is (blank) and this is how I contribute to my family".  I really liked that.  It takes the emphasis off of "chores" and put it back on helping out the family.  I also liked her list of Family Rules so I used both to adapt for use in my family.

Read her full post here. Sutton Grace



What can't be seen in this image is that there are lines on the left of each row and across the top of the circles is where you can put in the days of the week.  I listed the chores down the left and kept the last row as a bonus chore.  Anything extra they do that day can go down in that spot.  I found as the week went by that I needed to adjust the categories and with a little more googling and inspirational reading of blogs, I realized I needed to make sure I had some age appropriate chores specific to each child.  Like E feeds the cats every day and if I had that on the other two's lists then it would possibly start a fight.

I wasn't sure about paying or rewarding the kids for doing stuff that they already should be helping with but I finally decided that since we're trying to change their behaviour, I thought I would offer them some incentive. So I'm giving them 5 cents a chore which gets added up at the end of the week. It certainly won't break the bank and give them something to add to their wallets for those occasional trips to the dollar store.

Now none of this is mandatory.  I'm trying to work these changes in a positive way rather than my usual dictatorial route.   If they choose not to do the chores, they don't get a check mark.  I make suggestions or small reminders and that's about it.  Number 2 (J who's 6) wasn't too interested in doing very many of the chores, she was the one I thought I'd have some trouble with.  She only likes to help when SHE wants to help.  She did do a few chores by the end of the week but it definitely made an impression on her as she watched me count out 14 nickels for her big sister while she only got 5.

If you're wondering if the kids felt it wasn't fair that one sibling got more nickels than the other, not at all.  There was no sign of it.  They knew beforehand how it all worked and seemed fine with how it all played out.

With the Family Rules, again, I took some inspiration from Sutton Grace's post and then created our own list of rules I would like to see followed in the family.


Using Microsoft Publisher, it was pretty easy to come up with something similar to Sutton Grace's list because I liked the layout and bright colours of it  One one side is the list of Family Rules and on the other side is more a list of expectations.

I was surprised how receptive the kids were to it when I sat down and explained it to them.  E thought it was such a great idea, she immediately asked me to print off another copy so she could have it posted in her room to help remind.  The other two quickly asked for their own copies too even though they aren't able to read yet.  I had no problem with this and thought it was a great idea.  There has been some discussion as to other possible suggestion for the Family Rules list but as I said to them, we can't put everything on there.

I even had one day where everything was going a little crazy and I sat them all down and re-read the entire list with lots of emphasis on "No hitting", "no talking back" etc.  I actually think it would be a good idea to go over it with them everyday for the first little while as a reminder especially for the ones that can't read.

Well, like anything time will tell.  I'm not sure if this whole idea will stick.  I hope it does and it's a new exercise in discipline for myself to keep on top of this.

What about you?  Do you have a list of Family Rules?  What is your position on "rewards" or "payment" for chores?

Zeemaid

(PS.  If anyone would like a copy of my Family Rules PDF file to adapt, drop me an email and I'll send it out to you).

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