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A Family Chore Chart

Nov 9, 2007
I have worked as an in-home counselor with families for many years. My main referrals are families that have a child with mental health needs. The behaviors of the child or children are so disruptive to the family routine that the family contracts with my agency to have me come directly to the family home to help deal with the issues.

The first thing that I try to establish with the family is a routine. So many times these families have been spending so many hours in meetings about their child that they have not established a routine. We discuss what needs to be done each day and what time frames work for each family. I explain to the parents that it is important that each child no matter what their age, needs to be included in the tasks. The easiest way of doing with is by developing a chore chart. I like to include everyone on the chore chart. Even the youngest child can be involved with picking up toys.

The chore chart is established for a week and with families with older children I just have them rotate which tasks they are going to do each week. The tasks on the chore chart are things that the family identifies as important to them. There are the standard tasks of washing dishes, helping with meal preparation, taking out garbage, folding and putting away laundry, dusting and vacuuming. There is also keeping bedroom areas tidy and helping with grocery shopping or the putting away of groceries.

My ideal of working with a chore chart is that everyone participates because they are a member of the family. For some children we may tie in allowance money or additional privileges for the completion on tasks to begin with, but then teach them the importance of completing the chore chart because the things need to be done and it is the responsible thing to do as a member of the family.

Most often it is the parents that want to tie a reward in with the chore chart. Many parents have a hard time expecting help with household responsibilities from their children. Part of my job is to help parents understand that they need to teach these life skills to their children so that they will value having these things done when they move out on their own. The children are more invested in working on the chore chart if the parents are also written on the chart and are expected to complete tasks. Many great conversations can be had with a child while completing tasks together.
About the Author
Sarah Jones loves teaching. When she isn't teaching her own son, she is busy sharing her love of education with others.
Find a wide assortment of Lesson Plans , crafts for kids, and education tips at her site, http://www.KnowMore.com.
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