Friday, September 18, 2015

Seven-Year-Old Responsibility

The Little One is Seven now! With age comes more responsibility which is a hard reality sometimes, but we are finding methods that work for us so I thought I’d share.

I tried to start a chore chart with her last winter, but she wasn’t ready for it then and neither was I. However, over the last week we have managed to make, and maintain a responsibility chart that she is excited about.

It has become part of our nightly routine. She crawls into bed, waiting for me to read to her, and before we start reading we mark the smiley or sad faces on the chart.

She gets a smiley face if the responsibility was completed in a timely manner, when she is asked the first time, and with a good attitude. If she doesn’t do it in a timely manner, whines about doing it, or throws a fit she gets a sad face. There have been a couple days where she has gotten half smiley faces because maybe the responsibility was completed and it wasn’t to par, or some other random reason I thought it was okay -not good or bad.

So what are her responsibilities?
  • Feed Sky (our dog) Breakfast 
  • Feed Sky Dinner 
  • Clearing Dirty Dishes (includes dishes in her lunchbox after school) 
  • Putting Dirty Clothes in the Hamper 
  • Putting Clean Clothes Away 
  • Clean Room (before bedtime) 
  • Homework and Reading (Homework sent from school -if applicable, and practice spelling words during the school week and 20 minutes of reading every day.) 
  • Get Ready for School In a Timely Manner 
  • Get Ready for Bed in a Timely Manner

Each smiley face equals 10 cents, each half-smiley face is 5 cents, and a sad face is nothing. If she gets all nine possible smiley face for a day then she gets a bonus dime to make it an even $1. Her chore week starts on Friday and ends on Thursday so that her payday falls with Daddy’s payday.

Since she doesn’t watch television or have screen-time during the school week except for rare occasions she asked if she could earn bonus screen-time instead of money, so Nathan and I worked out a system for that as well. In exchange for 15 smiley faces she can have 30-minutes of screen-time during the school week!! (She was so excited to hear this!)

There are still rules with the screen-time though. She can only trade in for up to 1.5 hours -because there are some days where having screen time would take away from family time before or after extracurricular activities and obviously people are more important than screens. Also, her screen-time can only be used in 30-minute increments per day, it can’t happen before her responsibilities like feeding sky or finishing homework are complete, she gets one screen at a time whether its the handheld video game or the television is her choice, and all screens still get turned off by 8:30pm so we can do our nightly reading.

This week she earned 48.5 smiley faces. We did the break down tonight and she has three options for her payday.

1 hour screen-time + $1.85
1.5 hours screen-time + $0.35

She was excited she had earned so much. (I know it doesn’t seem like a lot to an adult, but she is still learning the concept of money so for now we can get away with working with dimes!) She is also motivated to do better next week because she knows she only earned 48.5 smileys out of a possible 63 smileys.

Who knows how long this method will work. This is definitely the type of skill that takes flexibility to teach and learn. I would be interested to hear what other parents do with their 6-8 year-olds. If you have any ideas please feel free to leave a comment.

P.S. I’ve been busy with back-to-school things and work so I haven’t had much time to blog. Since I’m behind I figured it would be easier to sneak a few photos in at the end of my post to show how Little One’s Surprise Birthday party went!

At the last minute we had to move the party to a Burger King because the weather made an outdoor party impossible.  I feel like I was putting lipstick on a pig!

The girls didn't mind that it was in a fast food place though.  We still did our horse painting project, played bingo for fun prizes, and ate way to much sugar!

The mission was accomplished because she was surprised, so happy to see your friends after being gone a month, and she thought the cake and cookies were perfect!

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