Teaching kids the value of work can sometimes be a tough sale, but learning this important lesson now will do so much to help them in the future. My kids like concrete goals to work towards. They’re big on to-do lists and working on projects that have a clear end so while I’ve tried to institute family chores several times in the past, each time their interest fades once they realize that even though they picked up their toys today, they still have to picked up tomorrow. I feel their pain.
I’ve tried giving allowances, having a chore jar, and straight up bribery. None of them have worked. I had to find a way to make my kids accountable for their own chores so I could take the nagging out of the equation and start teaching responsibility.
When I was introduced to MyJobChart.com, a free online chore chart for kids, I decided to try it out on my 7 y/o, who is the biggest fan of to-do lists out of the bunch. My 5 year old and 3 year old were excited to check out the features on the site but they were a bit young to really be able to use it on their own.
I sat my 7 year old down and explained how MyJobChart.com worked. I let him know that I had a parent account so that I could go in and assign jobs to him and his brothers and assign a point value to each job that was completed. If I’m being completely honest, he was on board at that point – a to-do list on the computer, with his very own account . . . sold!
Then I went through and explained that I could list rewards that he could use his points to purchase. MyJobChart.com is linked up to Amazon so if you don’t want to do a straight forward allowance you can have your kids set goals for toys or books that they want to earn. We already have far too much clutter at my house so I added customized rewards like earning a trip to the zoo or a trip to the swimming pool (Those are things I already had planned anyway but who says my kids had to know that. They’ll enjoy each trip more if they know that they earned it).
My son was so excited about MyJobChart.com (and the fact that I was letting him use my computer to use it) that he finished all the chores I’d listed for him in 15 minutes. The real miracle was that instead of hearing whining and complaining that is all too common at our house, what I heard was “I have so many more points than you do” (some parents may have issues with their kids trying to one-up each other. Personally, if they are competing to see who can do the most chores – I have absolutely no problem with that. I may just egg them on a bit).
MyJobChart.com Message Board
MyJobChart.com has a fun feature that is very similar to a Facebook wall. The message board allows kids and parents to send messages back and forth to each other. You get an email message when one of your kids has sent you a message on the message board. With younger kids it’s really more of a novelty thing, but with older kids I can see it being a really useful way to stay connected (especially if you are one of those mean parents like me who won’t allow your child to lie about their age just so they can have an actual Facebook account).
My son thought it was so cool that I ended up with this little gem on my message board:
You’ll also receive an email message when your child has completed all of his chores and your child will hear applause as soon as he checks off the last completed chore.
MyJobChart.com is a great tool for parents that could solve your chore woes. And did I mention it’s free?
We’re going back to homeschooling next year and I have great plans for MyJobChart.com as part of our daily routine. I’m envisioning my 7 year old waking up in the morning and logging into his account so he can check off all of his chores before I wake up. . . I can dream can’t I?
See how it works for yourself: