July 3, 2013

Toddler Chore Chart

A couple of weeks ago I was cleaning up the disaster area that was Colton's room for the umpteenth time when I had an epiphany: my 3-year-old could and should most certainly be doing some of this himself!  Right?!?  It seemed reasonable enough to me, and all of a sudden, a chore chart became a necessity.  Of course, there are several online to look at, so I researched and then discussed the options with Josh.
We decided to start out pretty basic: get yourself dressed (which Colton was already doing some days), brush your teeth (again he was already doing it independently some days), make the bed, and put your toys/books away.  I had seen other charts that included more behavioral elements like listen or follow directions.  Don't get me wrong...our boy definitely needs some work in those categories, but we decided not to include them in our chart. I felt like it would be too subjective to determine if one was earned for each day.  I mean, if he listened well for most of the day, but had one incident where he didn't (which is pretty much inevitable at this point!), does he get a sticker or no?!?  Too much for me to handle.  So we went with this basic chart:

I introduced it to Colton the next morning.  We talked about what each picture meant, and considering they were pretty self-explanatory, he got the concept pretty quickly.  After we talked about the chart, we went through each activity one by one.  I modeled how exactly to do each one (or at least reminded him what to do) and then had him complete them.  After he finished each one, he got to put a sticker on his chart!  He was sooo excited!  The next day I had to help him again, but by day 3, I walked by his room and he was doing his jobs all by himself...without me even telling him!!!  Honestly, that hasn't happened again since, but all I have to do each morning is remind him to do his chores and he knows what that means!  It's so nice to see him gaining a bit of independence, and even nicer that his room looks like this instead of the junkyard it used to be (note the floor that was previously too covered in junk to be seen):
We've continued giving him the stickers, although honestly I don't think he needs them!  He gets excited by them, though, so why not?!?  By the way, before we started the chart, Josh and I talked about whether or not to give him some sort of small allowance for his chores (even as little as a penny per activity).  Ultimately, though, we decided against it, reasoning that his current chores were more things he should be doing.   As we progress, though,  and he starts doing jobs that help the household (dust, sweep, put away dishes, whatever), we both agreed it was important for him to earn something for those tasks...so then we can start talking about saving and spending and all that fun stuff!
Really, I was pretty pleased at how easy of a process this was.  I had held off on him doing some of this stuff consistently (like getting himself dressed) because I was afraid it would add too many minutes to our hectic mornings.  It did for a couple days, but since it's actually saved me time in the mornings!!!  YAY!

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