Last month, during March Vlogging Madness, I uploaded a vlog of me explaining to my kids about the changes in how we would be keeping up with chores as well as the new set of rules I was implementing. I worked up a chore sheet in Excel about three years ago which I plugged in all the formulas for so that it would automatically add and/or deduct their points with me only needing to input a “1” if the activity or behavior applied or a “0” if it did not. They were younger then and we ended up only doing it for a few weeks but now that they are older and more responsible (and are expected to consistently keep their chores done) we decided to pick that system back up.
I received a comment on that vlog when I posted in to this website from someone asking me if I would mind sharing that information with her via email. It got me thinking that I’m sure this system (or any variation of it) would be beneficial to anyone, so I decided to share it with all of you!
How It Works
The chore charts work off of a points system. For each “chore” they perform, they earn a certain amount of points per day. Chores for us include cleaning, of course, but also things like brushing their teeth twice per day, doing good deeds, finishing their homework before playing, preparing their clothes for the following day, participating in Bible study time, praying, and going to bed on time. All of these things help to shape them into well-rounded, responsible, and spiritual children while at the same time helping them to also develop healthy habits, solid routines, and learn about taking accountability for themselves. In addition to earning points, they can also lose them. The system I developed deducts points for bad behavior, but also allows them a chance to earn those points back by bonuses they receive on days they have NO negative points and/or days they do not have to be reminded to do their chores.
If your children do not already have set chores, you may want to create a Word document to accompany the points system chart which details their responsibilities around the house. My kids have had the same chores for years, so those are understood without listing them. If you know how to populate formulas into the Excel spreadsheet, you may want to modify the points system to include each of their chores rather than lumping them together as I have. At the end of the week, there are three point levels or tiers which will allow them to earn different rewards. I switch up the rewards each week. Sometimes they will have the option of going out to eat, getting cash allowance, or taking a trip to the park. Other times they will have options like getting to choose snacks for the week, getting treats after school, or having company.
My Children and Their Chores
In our home, everyone pulls their own weight. A child will not learn to take care of themselves in life efficiently without a struggle unless they are raised to do so. Each child living in our house has a certain set of responsibilities they have to carry out daily. The oldest four share in the kitchen duties… Before Tiara moved in this past Friday, the kitchen was assigned to each of them on specific days of the week – Briyana had Sunday and Wednesday, Tre had Monday and Thursday, Talia had Tuesday and Friday, then each of the kids took turns with each meal on Saturday.
Now that there are four of them working on the kitchen, Briyana has Mondays, Tiara has Tuesdays, they will all get a break on Wednesdays while I take on the kitchen duties, Tre will have Thursdays, Talia will have Fridays, then Briyana and Tiara will work together on Saturdays and Tre and Talia will work together on Sundays. I go behind them after each clean up and make sure all the counters as well as both dining tables are wiped down correctly and that the dishes are up to par.
Whoever has kitchen duty doesn’t have to do anything else that day except for the chores specifically assigned to them on a continual basis (as listed below). The rest of the kids are responsible for sweeping, ensuring that nothing is out of place, cleaning the random debris out of the yard from their playtime, and putting up the clothes after I do laundry.
- Briyana (age 11) has no specific chores other than covering what is detailed above, but as part of her “chores” she is expected to set a good example for the younger kids in the house as well as ensuring that the room she shares with Tiara is tidy.
- Tiara (age 11) — same as Briyana.
- Tre (age 9) is responsible for feeding the dog and taking out the trash from the main garbage receptacle in the kitchen as well as from both bathrooms, and maintaining his living quarters.
- Talia (age 8) has no specific chores other than covering what is detailed above, but as part of her “chores” is expected to ensure that the room she shares with Avalyn stays tidy.
- Avalyn (age 5) is responsible for picking up anything that belongs in the trash can that happens to make its way to the floor.
- Zoe (age 2) is responsible for GOING TO THE POTTY!!! When she doesn’t, she is responsible for collecting the wipes, Pull Ups, and a small trash bag when her Pull Up needs changing, and throwing away her bagged dirty Pull Ups in the outside trash receptacle. She is also responsible for taking her clothes after they have been folded and placing them in her shelf space.
The Robertson Family Code of Conduct
Our family’s ethics system was developed from Galatians 5:16-26 and focuses on the fruits of the spirit. We do a nightly Bible study with the kids (well, I do… since my husband works offshore he’s rarely around for it!) and I developed our Code of Conduct from one of our Bible study lessons. It puts an emphasis on explaining the concepts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control and gives them several points to remember that help them keep those things in play in their daily lives both inside and outside of our home. The Code of Conduct also outlines three basic rules that govern our family and should be applied in everything we do.
If you would like to develop something like this for your own family, feel free to use the download links below to view the documents and reference them when developing your family’s accountability system!
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