Goal for It: Teaching Kids Responsibility
As I begin to work more now that the kids are older, I realize this: The family will have to pull together as a cohesive unit in order to make things flow around here.
I know we can do it! The girls help when asked, and my husband always lends a hand. But I don’t usually ask because this is what I do. The problem? When I return to work, I’ll be asking more frequently. So in an effort to make a smoother transition, I’ve started asking for help now.
I wanted to use a program that could also be combined with a few behavior goals we set for the girls, so I did a little searching and landed upon something that has really transformed the way our family is working right now: goalforit.com. This program (FREE!) lets parents and kids work together to come up with chore and goal ideas, create a calendar, and use the calendar to guide the children to what it is they need to do.
For me this works perfectly on a number of levels, including:
- We write goals and chores together. Kids are way more interested in doing chores and behaving when they have assisted with creating the schedule and reward system. Each week the girls and I sit down with each other and go through the program to create our chart. The girls choose a few jobs they want, and I choose a few I want them to have.
- We write behavior goals together. Next we discuss behavior goals (no tantrums, no whining, hands to self) and pick one or two for the week. (A few of the behavior goals have carried over from week to week; you’d be very surprised at how quickly kids will stop tantruming or whining when this is on their goal sheet and they are earning tokens for good behavior!).
- We print the calendar and display it on our refrigerator.
- Each time a chore is completed the girls color in their circles.
To make this work well for us, I have tied this chart to a token system. Each girl can earn up to four tokens per day plus extras for extraordinary behavior or assistance. Our tokens are pennies. I purchased a plastic jar in which they keep their tokens. They get their tokens at the end of each day and place them in their jar; at the end of the week we count up what they have earned and the girls can then choose rewards, which we made up together when we started this system.
For instance, for a perfect week they get $2 in chore money plus one of two rewards they came up with (special movie day on Sunday at home or a trip to the dollar store). Fewer tokens results in a different reward.
You wouldn’t believe how motivated my kids have become these past few weeks! It’s amazing how much they have come together to get chores done and control their behaviors. I see them now catching themselves before losing their tempers, and it has never been this easy to get them to clean their rooms up, put their clothes away, or feed the dog.
Do you use a goal or behavior chart to motivate your children? If so, how does it work?
Image via iStock