Much of motherhood is repetitive. In our Mind Organization for Moms program we teach you how to standardize many of the tasks that you are repeating over and over so that you aren’t having to remember and make the same decisions week in and week out. We call theses your “Routines and Responsibilities.” This covers both household upkeep and also other responsibilities that you have (regular commitments or routines you follow like visiting the library on Tuesdays) Once you have established a list of all your household-upkeep responsibilities, most deliberate mothers then start to explore positive ways to involve their families in the process. This article is a snippet taken from a much longer video that is available in our MOM Premium program. It explores some of the options used to create awesome charts and lists to keep our families on the same page as us when it comes to contributing to our households.
Let’s say you have a plan for involving your family in your household routines & responsibilities. You know what you want everyone to help with. Now it’s time to take you out of the middle and let a handy-dandy chart or list act as the reminder instead of your nagging!
The internet is loaded with thousands of ideas, but we wanted to gather a few basic categories to help you plan out your charts or lists.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Would it be helpful to have a list that can be “marked off” in some way, or do you just need a list of expectations?
- What type of a chart would your child use (considering age and personality)?
- Would it be best to break the different areas of expectations down into different charts…perhaps because of the location where they are needed (upstairs or downstairs) or the time of day the tasks are done (morning or after school)?
- Or is it more helpful to simplify and have one place where everything is summarized for each child on a page or chart?
- Do your children read? Would it be more helpful or fun to add clip art or images of some sort? (I once took pictures of my kids doing their chores and made little thumbnails—they loved it as preschoolers. My pre-teen probably wouldn’t think that was so cool now).
- Remember: even the best chart in the world will typically reach a point that it is just ignored. Most kids need variety. Just like toy rotation worked when they were young, chart rotation (or re-creation) works wonders as they take on responsibilities. It’s amazing how enthusiastic we can be about the exact same jobs when given a new chart or list to work on!
Types of Charts
- Magnetic boards: Work great for marking off things done. They are also a great tool if your system involves changing who is doing which chores because you can just switch out the magnets. Magnetic boards can be very simple and inexpensive but are also available to purchase custom made and gorgeous.
- Slider Charts: Another great way to allow kids to mark off the things they have done. Simple to make at home.
- Flip board: A lot of these are geared towards younger kids. They allow the child to open and close a flap as they check things off.
- Cross off & Wipe off: A list can be put in a glass frame or a laminated list can also be used (I find a magic eraser takes the marker off best). We like to use this when our whole family is cleaning together so we can see what has been done and what we still need to do. There are also many examples of beautiful frames with your personal lists that you mark off through the week or month.
- Sticker Charts: Most preschoolers love using stickers to mark off their accomplishments!
- Simple list: For repetitive routines that you expect your child to know, you may still choose to discreetly hang a list of reminders. It’s a helpful refresher when things start to get forgotten. “Check the list if you need to.”
- An electronic app: Perhaps putting those electronic devices to work is the answer to motivate your crew. myjobchart.com is very popular but there are many other options also. Comment below if you have a recommendation of another app you love.
- Master chart: Sometimes it’s helpful to have a station where all expectations are summarized for each person. These could be any type of chart listed above (magnetic, cross off, simple list, etc)
QUESTION: What are your favorite kinds of charts? What has worked well for your family?
CHALLENGE: If your charts could use a fresh look, or if you’re considering a new system, take some time this week to brainstorm ideas with your family!
We have a fantastic Routines and Responsibilities class in M.O.M. Premium that describes everything you’ve seen above and explains exactly how to make it work within a busy family.
Simply click the image below to access the class (if you’re a Premium Member), or upgrade to Premium using the coupon code at the bottom of your current Mind Organization for Moms Homepage. There’s lots of fun waiting for you!