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Can I get a gold star?

My six-year-old asked for a chore chart.

You remember this child and her strange ways.  She also asks for steamed broccoli for breakfast.

I am not a fan of charts.  I’m not philosophically opposed to them or anything.  It is simply that we have very little routine or similarities to our days.  I fly by the seat of my pants most of the time.  To be perfectly honest, anytime I try to implement a schedule, it lasts two days.

I stalled Norah for a few weeks as I tried to decide what to do about this chore business.  I don’t want to frustrate her no-nonsense, black/white tendencies with my flights o’ fancy.  I also didn’t want it to feel like a reward chart.  As an adult who craves praise and  gold stars, I am keen for my daughters to avoid this behavior.

Finally I came up with this:

I can pick the day’s tasks each morning and clip them to the “do” clothespin.  This way I can customize them to fit the day.  I recognize that I’m prone to disorganization so I placed blank cards and markers nearby in case I need to create a new task.

So far it is working for both of us.  Norah enjoys looking at her tasks for the day.  And I enjoy letting the cards nag instead of me.

Full disclosure:  This labor of love was created in a hot mess of sobbing after the girls went to bed.  My darling man tried to send me out of the house for a lone drive to Dunkin Doughnuts.  Roll the windows down, listen to some good music.  I hiccupped, “No, I just need to, gasp, sob, do this.”

I felt much better when I had finished the task.  But the doughnuts would have been nice.


7 responses »

  1. I love those clothes pin messages. I wanted the charts and lists – they resisted. I read parenting tomes by the dozens – one day my smart alec ten-year-old son forbade me to read anymore. “Come back home, you young adults, I want to clothes pin your duties to the fridge.” Maybe I need to clothes pin mine to the fridge.

  2. Great idea using clothes pins to “pin” chores. Great visual display. Plan on trying this with my kids!

  3. I am like your daughter. You should see how many chore charts I’ve created for myself. (Yet somehow my house is dirty right now. Might have something to do with the 10 week old….or the destructive 3.5 year old)

  4. Sounds great- glad it’s working! My oldest prefers to live by a schedule, too. Sigh. 😉 Next time you need to drive to get donuts, please call me, no matter how late it is! =)

  5. Catching up on your blog. I love this–it’s cute! I would make this for Suzi, but she’d probably do that little you-are-mistaken laugh of hers and tell me that she couldn’t possibly do all those things because she was busy making signs for the fairies or vests for her plastic frogs. Also, I’m being nosy, but was it the to-do list project that made you cry or just a hard day? I love projects like this but when I make them and expect Jordan to join in, it makes him want to cry 🙂

    • It was a hard day that made me cry. The to-do list was my way of coping with the day.

      Thankfully, those days are coming less than they used to. Or maybe I’m getting better at recognizing when we need to evacuate the house and seek better climes.

  6. Pingback: Positive Discipline Parent Interview – 10 Questions with Julie Byers | THINKitTHROUGHparenting

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