Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why We Made A Chore List

Sidney's Chore List - 11/07/2012


The Chore List

My Daughter Was Becoming A Slob

About a year ago I noticed my daughter was becoming a slob. That’s right, a slob. I had let things slide and instead of making her clean up after herself I would do it for her. 

I felt bad because she was so tired all the time. She went from being home with mommy, relaxing and even taking the odd nap when she needed it to being in kindergarten full-time. After school she was just so tired, I felt like it was my responsibility to clean up after her so she could relax.

Well, a few months into school she became used to it and wasn’t as tired any more, but she still wasn’t picking up after herself. Worse, she didn’t want to and would whine when I told her to put her things away! I knew then that something really had to change, that I had to motivate her some how to start taking responsibility. 

Letting Go of The Guilt

At first I felt kind of guilty forcing her to clean up after herself, “she‘s only four years old!”, but I knew I would feel more guilty if I allowed her to grow up not fully understanding responsibilities. I’ve witnessed what happens to children when their parents don’t force responsibilities on them; they grow up unprepared for the real world.

The Chore List

That’s when I made her a chore list. This is something Nick and I decided together to help Sidney begin to understand responsibilities. Mind you, her chore list is really simple and age appropriate.

Things listed on her chore list include:

  • Hang up backpack
  • Put shoes away
  • Pick up toys
  • Put clothes in laundry basket
  • Help sort laundry
  • Help with meal prep
  • Help set table
  • Homework
  • Feed pets
  • Help clear table
  • Water plants
  • Help with yard work (gardening, raking, shovelling snow)



Most of the chores on Sidney’s list say “help” because obviously she can’t clear an entire table by herself and I wouldn’t expect her to. It’s important to take the time to help her, even when I feel frustrated. Just like my teachers, my supervisors and my parents have helped teach me new skills, I have to take the time to teach her. It also promotes teamwork. 

The Benefits and Awards

To help motivate her, I simply drew out a chart on a piece of colourful paper and every time she completes a task she gets a sticker!  Sidney also made her own piggy bank out of an old jar by decorating it. Five tasks equals one quarter that we tally up at the end of the week. Twenty five cents may not seem like a lot to an adult but to a five year old it’s a major accomplishment. 

Most of these tasks are easy and to be expected of her on a daily basis so I don’t see the need to be paying her a large allowance. Besides, Sidney has a savings account that I put money into regularly. 

This chore list is simply to encourage her, build self confidence/self worth and responsibility. 

It also lessens my workload at the end of the day! 

Do your children have chores list? What kind of chores do they have and how are they rewarded?


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  1. Kudos for working on instilling a good work ethic in your daughter.

    My kids are in their 20's now but I recently came across a chore list I had made for them when they were little. The lists really do come in handy and helps keep everyone on track.

    1. Thank you!

      Yes, they really are handy! I remember a chore list my mom had for my sister and I, too.


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