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Old 09-17-12, 03:43 PM
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We are still struggling with our 4 year old daughter on her bahvior some days. I know much of it is her trying to be independent and us, as the parents, always rushing and not being very patient in waiting for her to do things her way. I started thinking we should do a chore chart. I think she would like having a set of things she knows she is able to do and supposed to do. Her daycare teachers have always told me what a good little helper she is and we see this at home too, but sometimes we struggle at home with her to let us do some things that we know are a challenge for her. (or that we know we can just do faster.....if I am being honest)

Do any of you use chore charts? What sort of chores do have on there for a 4 year old? I am also clueless on the rewards part of it? Should it be a weekly reward? What sort of rewards? Do you use stickers and say if they have X amount of stickers they get a reward?

I think I am also going to have include ourselves, lol! We don't have a strict or set schedule. I do laundry whenever it needs to be done, sweep just about every other day, dishes are done almost every day (usually by dad), and other things are done as needed or when it starts to get on my nerves. We both work and I have feeling if I try to get hubby on a schedule, he is going to be so stressed....but we are already stressed! Maybe some order will help? He hates making plans, but I think he is starting to see how important structure is for her since his mom has been here and has really thrown everything out of whack. That's the other problem though- his mom & brother's family are on a completely different kind of schedule. They eat dinner at like 8pm and schedule outings during our dinner time (or nap times), so if we opt to go we have hungry/tired kids & parents, which turns into little patience and crankiness. But I feel like whenever I try to instill some rules when they are around, I get looked at like I have 3 heads.

Can you tell I've been frustrated lately??
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Old 09-18-12, 08:26 PM
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We started one w/ my 5 and 7 yr old. Just everyday stuff really. They have to make their beds, then each one take turns on who gives the pets food/water, clothes in the hamper, cleanup after themselves and take turns on who cleans playroom/bedroom
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Old 09-19-12, 09:55 AM
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I understand what you mean by feeling frustrated by lack of structure.

We have a loose structure during the week now that our girls are a little older but when they were younger, they were in charge of their playroom and we had a schedule for keeping it clean (meaning which girl was in charge of ensuring that the job got done--because little girls can be bossy and TWO bossy girls can be a disaster!). It was a simple 4-week chart and if they met the requirements on the rubric (Is everything put away? Is the floor cleared?) and followed the ruled (Clean up when asked, Do not pester Mommy & Daddy, No whining or yelling, No complaining) they would get a STAR on their individual charts for that day (failure to follow any of the rules would result in an immediate X---we don't tolerate that whiny/bickery crap in our house).

At the end of the week on Sunday night, we tally up their STARS on their charts. 7 STARS = $2, 4-6 STARS = $1, 0-3 STARS = $0. We teach our kids that if you work, you get paid. If you don't work, you don't get paid. It's a commission-based system. Allowance is akin to welfare. I'm not going to pay my kids to do the things they should be doing anyway--clearing dinner plates, keeping their rooms decently clean, helping with dinner dishes, etc. We do those things because we respect our family. And they should do those things because they WANT to. But there are other jobs that they don't want to do and aren't necessarily their jobs and for those jobs, they can earn a commission.

I want them to make a connection that when they get older, they won't get paid for breathing. They have to go out and EARN it.

At 4 years old, payment/reward, especially when you're starting out, should be pretty immediate. Our girls know they can wait until the end of the week and they keep their money in an envelope that hangs on the fridge. We haven't started with Alex (he's three) but when we do, he'll get paid immediately and we'll put his into a clear plastic jar and crumple it up so it's BIG and he can SEE it. Little kids are visual and immediate, at least until they have more of an idea of permanancy. So if you're thinking of starting to reward her for something, make her responsibilities small (help with laundry, tidy up her play space, help put away groceries, etc.) and reward her immediately. It doesn't need to be a big reward and can be as simple at a high-five for a job well done. A whole lot of "Atta Girls" can go a long way when you're starting out.

But the most important thing is consistency. And that's where it gets most difficult for parents. So find a groove that works for you and stick with it.

As time has gone on, we've evolved into something we call "Work Day Saturday". We work for a few hours every Saturday. The girls know their jobs (clean the playroom and living room, their bedrooms from top to bottom, help in the yard or wherever else we ask, vacuum whole house) and we know ours (everything else!). Then when we're done, we have an entirely clean house and we then get enjoy a "Sabbath Sunday" in our house. We do NO WORK on Sundays. We just enjoy being together as a family before the crazy week begins. And we really need that time together to build block houses or train tracks or have a family movie day or whatever. But it's done without the stress of folding laundry, doing dishes, or mopping floors. We've been doing this for about 18 months and we haven't regretted a minute of it. Most days now, we're done with our work by 2-3PM and we can have company in the evening on Saturdays, too!

Wow--if you're still reading this, you're really committed (or I *should be* committed ).
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Old 09-19-12, 12:36 PM
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LOL, no you should not!

I have been looking at a lot of chore chart ideas online and trying to figure what would work best. A lot of things I have read was advising not to reward her with money or really anything other than a "good job!" sticker as the things on a child of her age's chart are more of responsibilites or "good citizen" tasks, like getting dressed, brushing teeth, put clothes in hamper etc.

I have been taking photos of her the past few days of her doing these tasks. I was planning on printing them out, lamenating them with labels, and posting them around the house (mainly in her room and bathroom) as a reminder of her good citizen tasks. (sort of like everything is labeled at daycare)

Then I was thinking of making a chart (or purchasing one...I saw some pretty neat magnetic ones on Amazon) that will include these tasks plus some behavioral items since she is quick to throw a fit when she doesn't get her way. I have also been talking to her lately about being "pretty" on the inside because she always ask us after she gets dressed if she looks pretty. So I've been trying to instill her that we always think she looks beautiful, but she also should remember to be kind, polite, etc. I figured at the end of the week if she has X amount of stars, we could enjoy a treat like ice cream at Chic-fil-a, a trip to the library, or even Monkey Jungle if we have some extra cash. I dunno- this is where is gets fuzzy for me. Sometimes we do things like this just because. I'd hate for her to get confused on when she gets these for stars on her chart or when she doesn't. She also already has a piggy bank that we put random change into and other relatives put $$ in there when they come over to visit, or birthday card money. When it gets full we deposit into her savings account at the bank. Should we stop doing this and start fresh letting her earn $$?
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Old 10-18-12, 03:45 PM
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We had a chore chart with things like feeding the dog, cleaning their rooms every week etc.
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