It's natural for you to assume that summer is the ideal time to teach your children the value of helping out with household chores. You may even entertain ideas of happy children working together to accomplish common tasks. Your children, however, may have different ideas about their summer vacation and balk at your attempts to put them to work. Making a chore list for your kids lets everyone know what is expected and eliminates the need for nagging to get the work done.
Make a list of all the household chores that need to be accomplished. Note the frequency of each. For example, the cat must be fed twice a day, but cleaning the bathroom may be a weekly chore.
Divide the list into categories corresponding to the ages and abilities of your children. While a preschooler may be able to feed the cat or dust, he cannot be expected to do the same chores as older children. Teens can mow the lawn, take care of the garbage or clean the bathroom with ease.
Talk with your children, and let them know they are expected to help out with household chores because they are part of the family. Allow them to give their input on any chores they may prefer. While one child may detest cleaning the bathroom, another may hate doing dishes. Giving them some choice, while letting them know that everyone is expected to pull their weight, is likely to elicit more cooperation from your children.
Make a chore chart with poster board or use a computer program to design one. You can also purchase premade chore charts with common tasks on them. Most allow you to add your own tasks. While one large chart that contains everyone's chores may work for children in middle or high school, younger children benefit from individual charts. The chore chart should include the chore and when it needs to be accomplished.
Post the chore chart in a location where it is easy to access, such as the front of the refrigerator. Keep in mind that charts for small children need to be within reach.