So we started on our new updated chore chart yesterday. As with every update, it was met with excitement and smiles and a high level of enthusiasm from all participants. And on the surface, it was a very good show. So good in fact that any amateur would have found it very believable, but I wasn’t fooled. I have been down this road, and I know where it leads.
You know that saying about the definition of insanity? Well, call me insane because we are trying it again. I keep thinking that if I change the chores around and make it easier and easier, that this time the chore chart will stick.
We started the cycle over a year ago with a chore chart I bought from Amazon. It was based on a reward system, as in, you do a certain amount of chores, and you get XX amount of rewards. The chores weren’t complicated…feed the cat, make your bed, that sort of thing. And the rewards ranged from money to lunch at Chick-fil-A.
At first, she was ALL about it. I think she even said, “Thank you for my chore chart, Mommy!” And I prematurely patted myself on the back because I’m teaching my kid about responsibility.
But after about two weeks, her excitement started to dwindle, and she soon realized that while rewards are fun, chores are not. And I found myself nagging her all day about how few chores had been completed. Eventually I would just stop mentioning it because honestly, I do enough nagging around here without hanging a list of reminders on the fridge. And the chore chart would hang there untouched for months.
Then I would start to feel guilty and wonder: What exactly am I teaching her with the chore chart or lack thereof? If your chores are boring, then just stop doing them? Who needs to learn about earning rewards when birthdays and Christmas come around once a year?
So now instead of being a nagging mother, I felt like I was an irresponsible one. So I would update the chore chart, and we would start the cycle all over again.
So here we are in the honeymoon phase with Chore Chart Version 4.0. Oh sure, I’ve tried a slightly different approach in that I’ve dumbed it down even more and added stickers, but eventually, she’s going to catch on and see it for what it is…a list of things she doesn’t really want to do.
But until then, I’m going to take pleasure in the enthusiasm she has about cleaning her room and enjoy my break from feeding the cat…even if it is short lived.
If any of you mommies out there have some kid-tested and approved chore chart ideas, I would love to hear them. I’m curious to know if it’s possible to keep the chart going without the nagging…or do I just need to accept that chore charts and nagging go hand-in-hand?