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Use a Job Jar for Chores

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As a working parent of 6 kids (the oldest 4 are in a 5 1/2 year age span), the kids helping with chores was a given. Our system was the job jar. All household chores were written down and put into a job jar. Pink paper for the under 6 set, and yellow paper for those school age and above.


Every Friday, we all sat down and everyone, including parents, drew their jobs for the following week. We had a chart hanging on the wall that had everyone's name, their jobs for the week, and a space for Mom (or Mamaw) to sign off when the job was done satisfactorily (without more than one reminder) and finished each day of the week.

On Saturday, anyone that had their assigned chores done at least 6 out of the 7 days, participated in a "treat day". We took turns choosing the treat for the week, from a list provided by Mom (depended on time and money available). The treat might be a picnic, a trip to the pool, a movie, a trip to the zoo, or a Baskin Robbins ice cream treat, etc. Anyone not completing their assigned chores was left at home with grandmother, with no TV or phone privileges for the weekend.


In the early days of course, a 6 year old assigned to cook supper needed a lot of help from Mom or Grandmother. By the time they were 10-12 years old, they (boys and girls) could all plan a menu. They could make a edible, balanced meal for the family, fix lunches for school, vacuum, mop, etc.

From 9th grade on, they were also involved in budgeting, balancing the checkbook, writing the checks for monthly bills, seeing that they were mailed, making the grocery list, and shopping for groceries.

We do not give our kids enough credit. Even a 2 year old can empty a waste paper basket or pick up toys, and put them away. It is not just a case of helping out Mom. Everyone lives there, eats the food, and wears clothing. Everyone needs to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for their home.


When we don't teach our kids to clean their homes, wash their clothes, cook a decent meal, manage their time, manage their money, and accept their responsibilities, we do them a grave disservice because someday they are going to have their own homes and families to manage. You can't teach those things by starting the week before they leave for college.

By slee15

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July 29, 20110 found this helpful

I voted for this because I admire a family who can pull this off. I bet everybody is happy too.
There is a level of conscientiousness rarely found, but badly needed.

Good luck - all of you

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July 29, 20110 found this helpful

I agree wholeheartedly with joanfry. More families like this would make for a happier and no doubt healthier world. My quote for the day: always take the opportunity to say a kind word.


P.S. I get the feeling that spell check would have been a good thing! (For me.)

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October 4, 20120 found this helpful

I have always said everybody living in a house should take responsibility and do their part to keep it clean. Gone are the days of Mother staying at home full time and doing everything for everybody. When you teach your children this they will graduate from high school confident and capable. I applaud you slee; you deserve to win this contest.

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