How To: No More Chore Lists. Do Daily Commitments Instead!
Raising children is a multi-layer experience. We are given the opportunity to influence, shape, raise, mould and grow our wonderful and beautiful blessings from God. From teaching them how to reciprocate a smile, to taking their first steps, everything a child learns are pieces of momentary encounters through out his or her life.
We have three children. Alexis, our 9 year old. Dean, our 7 year old. And Zoe, our soon to be 1 year old. My husband and I decided from the very beginning that everything we do in life will be for the betterment of our children’s future. This included habit training.
Even adults are still taking steps to improve their effectiveness in this category. The NPD Group is an American market research company that measures how Americans shop. According to them:
“The self-help books category has experienced continued and solid growth in recent years. In fact, it has nearly doubled in size since 2013. Unit sales of self-help books have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 percent since 2013, reaching 18.6 million in 2019, according to global information company The NPD Group.”The NPD Group Port Washington, N.Y. (January 13, 2019). Self Help Book Sales are Rising Fast in the US, The NPD Group Says https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/2020/self-help-book-sales-are-rising-fast-in-the-us-the-npd-group-says/
NO MORE CHORE LISTS DO DAILY COMMITMENTS INSTEAD…
Why does this matter if all I want to do is get my kids to do their chores? I bring all of this information to you because, clearly even adults are still investing in ways to be more effective through self-help books. So how can we as parents teach our children to be responsible, and do it in a way that is long lasting and manageable.
MOM, CAN I PLAY VIDEO GAMES…
Every time my kids asked to watch tv or play a video game, I would rebuttal with, “Did you do your chores?” They would respond, “What chores? What do we need to do?” With a feeling of REALLY?! I made a gesture towards the tornado of mess they left in their wake.
It’s was the same thing every time. I knew that they knew what to do. But I kept finding myself doing this same step week after week. I kept needing to “ask” them or “remind” them to help out around the house BEFORE they broke out new arts and crafts, used YouTube kids or played their approved video games.
DAILY COMMITMENT TO THE RESCUE…
So here is what I did. I created a Daily Commitment sheet. No more chore list. Let me break it down for you into actionable steps so that way you can implement it in your home as well:
- On a sheet of paper, write down the chores that your children already know how to do. The ones that you have done a full walk through with them and can confidently say that you won’t have the urge to go in behind them and redo it. (note: you may use separate papers for each child depending on their age and/ or ability)
- Purchase a simple picture frame that will accommodate your standard computer paper size of 8.5in. x 11in. The one we use can be found here.
- Click here for a free downloadable, fully customizable word document where you can transfer your chores from paper to the Daily Commitment sheet.
- Print off your new Daily Commitment sheet, one for each child or one for the whole family to tackle together (we use the “tackle together” method), and place it in your new picture frame.
- Decide where you want to showcase your new system. I prefer to keep it in the homeschool area in our home.
- When a chore has been completed, your child can mark it off with a dry erase marker in their chosen color to show that they have completed it. This method works because you can wipe the glass clean for the next day.
- Pat yourself on the back, you just defeated the system.
HOW TO USE IT FOR MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS…
We have been using the Daily Commitment system for over a year now and I will always use it. I no longer need to remind my children to do their chores because they know once they are completed, the rest of the day is theirs to do what ever they want, within reason.
Since we homeschool our children, you will notice that our Daily Commitment sheet does not have “complete your homework” as a listed task. This is because schoolwork is priority when the day starts. If my kids were still in public school, “completing your homework” would certainly be on the Daily Commitment sheet.
Now, when I have the time to check that they ACTUALLY completed their daily commitments, I just go check. If something says that it was completed and it in fact was not, there are actions that we take to course correct this habit.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY DON’T ACTUALLY DO IT…
For example, we have family movie nights every Saturday. If someone tried to take a short cut, and just said that they did their chore but in fact did not, then they would not be getting a special treat for movie night while everyone else does. Some people might think that this is a harsh approach, but I don’t want my children to get in the habit of being rewarded for something that they did not do.
YOUR ACTIONS EFFECT THE WHOLE…
When they grow up, they will have a career of some kind. In this career, they will work as a team in some way. If they are not a team player, then their negative actions effect the whole group. If someone is counting on them to do something, they had better do it or they may find themselves no longer part of that team.
As your children grow, their daily tasks will change. So feel free to continue to customize their commitments through the years. With this Daily Commitment system, you will find there to be more moments of family time that mom and dad can be part of instead of running around the house trying to figure out how to get it all done.
OPEN DOOR POLICY…
It is important to emphasize an “open door” policy with your children with regards to their chores. If they have a question about something, or need to problem solve, and this will happen, encouraging them to come to you right when they need it will build up their self confidence and teach them how to communicate effectively.
And there you have it! No more chore lists. Do Daily Commitments Instead!
Share with us in the comments below how you have implemented Daily Commitments in your home 🙂