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My Secret To Making Chores Easy And Fun For The Entire Family

Easy chore system for the entire family

August 27, 2022

One of my favorite systems we have ever created in our home is our chore system. Yes, I am talking chores for kids. But, don’t get me wrong, it’s not what you think. There’s actually not a single chore involved and truth be told, we don’t even use that word in our house!

Chores are old school and aren’t helping anyone. Gone are the days where we give chores for kids. Truthfully, there is SO much to gain from NOT giving your kids chores, but rather using my chore system. You won’t regret making the switch from your antiquated chore system to my timeless and true replacement system that we live by. Ready to jump in? Let’s do this!

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

No More Chores

I am spilling ALL the details on the exact chore system we use in our home. Now, first things first, I am calling it a chore system because that is what will most likely ring a bell for you. But, the reality is it is a skill-based / entrepreneur-based chore system for your kids.
 
The first part to my secret to making chores easy and fun for the entire family is – I don’t use the word “chores.” And you shouldn’t it either. There is such a negative connotation to that word.
 
We have completely gotten rid of the language in our home where “You must do this and you must do this, here is your chore chart, mark it off, move your tab, you get a candy, dangle the carrot in front of your face…come do what I tell you to come do.” I don’t want my kids to be led by a dangling carrot in their life, aka a paycheck. This old approach to chores for kids is completely lacking in intrinsic motivation.
 
 

Money Management System

Truthfully, one of the biggest reasons we started this in our house was so that we could teach money management. This was something that I didn’t get growing up. Growing up, one of my closest friends lived next door, and they had chores, and they got paid for them. In our home, we had responsibilities, we had to work and we never got paid. I grew up, later on, thinking that this was a really missed opportunity to be able to manage money.
 
As a parent, I didn’t want to just throw money at my own kids, but I also wanted them to know what hard work was. So that’s where this chore system came to be and I have four main points to share with you as to what this system is for your kids.

Jobs and Responsibilities

The big thing here and an essential for this chore system is to define the differences between a job and a responsibility. We consider many things in this house a responsibility and those DO NOT get listed on the job board and therefore, are not up for grabs to do and to get paid for.

Responsibilites

Things that are responsibilities are like making your bed, picking up after yourself around the house, setting the table, clearing the table. These are all things that you do to be a helpful and a good housemate. This is teaching our kids how to be a good member of the community. Things that are communal we pitch in with.
 
As your kids get older, things change. This system can be adapted over time. I start this chore system in the four-year-old range when kids can count and understand that a quarter is more than a penny. They are grasping basic concepts. The older the kid, the more evolved in this system they can be. This system is extremely adaptable. You can easily adapt this to meet wherever your child is.
 

Jobs

A job is literally something you could outsource: house cleaning, yard work, organization, hand work, babysitting, grocery shopping, etc. These are jobs that would make your life easier if someone else was doing them. This is something that you and your family are going to have to decide, to figure out what differentiates a job and a responsibility for your family.
 
For example: laundry. Laundry can technically be outsourced. All the way up until now, laundry has been up for grabs as a job that Frankie, our oldest, could do. Now, I am transitioning that every once and awhile and taking laundry off the job board and making it a responsibility. The reason why is that she is getting older and more capable of taking care of herself in greater ways. Every time I take a job off of the job board, I replace it with another one.

“I am constantly looking at things that are going to stretch both my daughters just enough to where they can get the job done, but also assert their skills appropriately.”

Skills and Needs

We no longer have this concept of “I have to do what mom & dad tell me even when I don’t want to do it.” Believe me, I am well aware that there are times in life that we have to do things that we don’t want to do, but I am choosing to use this as a positive reinforcer for what we want with our kids, as well as teaching that lesson at the same time, just in a much more positive style .
 
In order for this skill-based or entrepreneur based chore system to work, you have to have a sit down discussion about skills and needs. This is the exploration that you did when you got old enough to work and started looking for a job that your skills could provide. You sit down with your kids and ask them “What do you like to do? What are you good at?” You share the things that you need help with and the things that you need. Then you come up with the jobs for the job board.
 
I don’t just throw money at my children. You have to do the job thoroughly and correctly and until it is done. I am constantly looking at things that are going to stretch both my daughters just enough to where they can get the job done, but also assert their skills appropriately.

Contract and Terms

 
You need to clearly communicate with your children what happens if they are late for the job that they said they were going to do? What happens if they said they were going to do it and then they didn’t show up? What happens if they need help? What are the expectations?
 
From the beginning, I tell my kids that if they start the job and then quit, then they cannot bill me for the full amount. Same in regards to help. If they need help and it turns out they want me to do most of the job for them, then they cannot bill for the full amount. This is why it is so important to establish clear terms from the beginning. This also encourages and motivates your child to want to do it all themselves.
 
One more important thing to consider, how to earn tip money – a great way to teach kids about work ethic and how to make sure you get asked to come back and work again.

Payment

We make our kids invoice us for everything. Our youngest is learning how to write her own. We make a little template chart for her to fill out, while our oldest writes the entire invoice. Most definitely include in your conversation the importance of due dates, interest, late fees, clear handwriting, invoicing within thirty days, etc. We also will negotiate cost and it is super fun to watch her learn what that means as she negotiates her skills.

Benefits of a Chore System

Why should you put this system in place?
  1. Communication building – you are building communication between you and your child.
  2. Confidence building – this chore system is a big confidence builder – you are teaching them to look at what skills they have, what things they are really good at and all these things will build their confidence, especially when you start them young!
  3. Intrinsic motivation that begins to happen so you are not constantly pulling teeth! Watch the magic unfold, it is a beautiful thing!
  4. Helps you see the gaps you need to fill instead of looking at where they are failing. Often times we get so many complaints of all the things our kids won’t do, or can’t do, or how much of a hassle it is to implement chores for kids, while the easier approach is to just do it yourself. But these complaints focus one hundred percent on where the kids are failing, while instead it is so extremely important to look at this in terms of the gaps you need to fill as a parent.
  5. Gives independence and autonomy instead of feeling forced. When you give your kids the ability to make decisions for themselves, they will start making decisions for themselves over and over again. The traditional reward based system is never going to work and so detrimental to your entire home ecosystem. This new system for chores will definitely take some time, so please be patient, but it is so incredibly worth it and it will work!
  6. Obviously money management. A HUGE benefit to all of this is teaching your kids how to manage money, what to do with an invoice. We take it a step further and have gone through how we manage our money and have given that to Frankie, which is super incredible to see her do that.

No Excuses

What happens when my kids just don’t want to do any work at all? Well, natural consequences just like we experience when we don’t work are really great opportunities to learn. Natural consequences are a really beautiful thing. If your kids are older and they are having trouble accepting responsibility and doing these things, well it is going to be a real bummer for them when they don’t have any money to fill up gas in the car, or they don’t have the opportunity to go hang out with their friends.
 
Essentially, they should be growing with this, so where all their eventual spending money should be earned, should be saved. They need will come through this chore system, so for older kids, if they aren’t willing to work at home, then they will need to find a job outside of the home, because that is how they earn their spending money.
 
Maybe you don’t have the funds to fully support your kids spending habits. Okay, then lets sit down to figure out how we can use their skill set that we have been learning through this entrepreneur-based chore system at home and reach out to our community. Allow your child to self-promote to neighbors, friends, and community members to help earn more money that way. So please don’t let this be an excuse or an obstacle because there are definite ways to work through that.
 
Through reminding your kids of the natural consequences, constantly encouraging your children to get involved with the things they are good at, and to get creative enough to find ways to help them through that process and open the doors of communication. Most importantly, be patient in this process. It takes time, especially when you are trying to implement it with other humans who may or may not be as willing to do the implementing as you are.
 

Final Thoughts

If this system resonated with you and if you are eager to learn more about other systems you can implement in your life, bring into your home, and within your marriage, then come check out the details over at the Systemize Your Life Academy. And if you are looking for a community to support you as you navigate life and all its responsibilities, come hang out with us in the Facebook group. One more token of goodness, my daughter, Frankie recorded a bonus podcast sharing her take on our chore system, that is definitely worth a listen over on the Systemize Your Life Podcast.
 
Simple Chore system for the entire family

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I begin to get my kids involved in chores if my house is a mess?

You first need to get a handle on your home. You can’t begin to clean if every surface is covered and drawer is overflowing. Start by decluttering and then move onto cleaning. I walk you through this in my home management system where I take you from overwhelmed to confident in just four weeks! Come find out more details and watch my free workshop here!

the secret to making chores easy and fun for the whole family
the key to making chores easy and fun for the whole family

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