I Make Charts Cause I Can't Keep Track of My Kids Teeth Brushing

Now, don't jump all over me. I do keep track of the kids brushing their teeth. Sort of. These charts help me though, and more importantly, they help the kids learn how to keep track of it themselves. Click through to find out more...

In the mornings, we have a routine, which we stick to pretty well. That being said, with five kids aged 10 and under, things can turn into a bit of a circus at times (okay all the time) so we need just a little help to keep things from going off the rails too much. Enter...THE CHART WALL.

Things on the wall:

  • I chose a favorite pic of each of them, added their name using Picmonkey, and just printed them out. Makes it a little more visually appealing than just the charts.
  • The older kids have "chore charts" with both "paid" chores on it and chores that need to get done no matter what.
  • The "brush teeth" isn't a chore really, it's just an easy way for them to be responsible for doing it twice a day on their own without me constantly asking them "Did you brush your teeth?!" (okay I still do this, but a little less than before). They can scan their chart, see that spot still open and will go up and do it in order to fill in all the spots.
  • The toddler has a picture chart that basically has just teeth brushing, eating meals, putting toys away, getting dressed, that sort of thing. Find a great post on age appropriate chores here. My older kids take out the garbage, feed the dog, wipe down the tables after meals, clean the bathrooms, load the dishwasher, put their own laundry away (using this hack which still works AWESOMELY), among a few others.
  • They get an hour of screen time max (either on their Kindles or the TV) a day. Some of this gets used up in the mornings, some after school, and they get a little extra on the weekends, but all of the time must be earned. Usually I give out screen time for good behavior, good grades, good attitudes, that sort of thing. Sometimes if they do a really great job at a chore they get an extra ten minutes of screen time too. If they earn zero screen time, they get zero screen time, if they do a great job all day and earn the whole hour, they top out at an hour. Usually they wind up getting around like 20-40 mins on average (and a lot of days they either don't earn it because they were busy with after school stuff or don't wind up using it, BUT it doesn't carry over otherwise they would wind up with four hour days haha!).
  • Once the chore money or screen time is earned, they can't lose it for bad behavior, but the electronics can get taken away for bad behavior.
  • The toddler has some extra charts for good behavior AND for using the potty. Full disclosure, potty thing still ain't happening, but we are hopeful.
  • I used to laminate my charts, but I stopped doing that because the dry erase marker situation got out of control with the smudging and the potential erasing so we just print these out once a week and use stickers (stickers are way more appealing to the younger kids anyway) and peeling stickers off the laminated charts was not fun.
  • Speaking of markers, since I have a Talley, markers are practically under lock and key in our house. The kids basically have to check them in and out each time from our craft section to make sure the toddler didn't smuggle one upstairs to wreak havoc. I am really, really, REALLY controlling about the markers. Really. Mama don't mess around with the Sharpies. No siree.

Now, a few more tips...

  • As I said, not all of these chores are paid, but in an effort to keep it simple (yes this was as simple as I could make it) they are all included, and at the end of the week, the paid ones get added up and they get their allowance based on that. The kicker is, no payment is earned unless ALL the unpaid chores are done as well.
  • Be realistic. In the time between school and homework and dinner and bathtime there's not a ton of time, and while I want them to have responsibility, I want to make these chores actually doable. That's also where the paid chores can come in. If they choose not to do a paid chore? Less allowance. Easy peasy.
  • Once they do get paid, I let them spend it however they want. Yes, it is hard when they decide to buy MORE Pokemon cards to add to the seemingly thousands they already have, and it is hard when I know they make a purchase that is an impulse buy that they will regret, but this is a learning step also (We do also practice saving some, but that is for another post coming up soon).

Now, put together your own Chart Wall (or just stick 'em on your fridge)...