This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GIVEEXTRAGETEXTRA #Walgreens #CollectiveBiasYou know how it goes. Sometimes it’s easier to do the work yourself than to train your kids how to do it correctly. But I recently realized that my kids are capable of so much more than I gave them credit for. When I was down and out with the stomach flu a few months ago, my oldest floored me by putting away all the clean dishes from the dishwasher. Without being asked. Or bribed. It was HUGE for me. He told me he knew it would help me out and a light bulb went off in my head. One of the reasons I had resisted putting together a chore system for them was because I didn’t want it to be about how much they could earn. I wanted it to be about how their actions could help another family member. We came up with an easy plan where they are incentivized to help out around the house, but the focus is on helping others. I created a chore list to help prompt their actions. I really love how it’s working!My kids are spoiled rotten and get everything they ever want thanks to generous grandparents. While learning to save money is super important, I didn’t want chores to be about that. It’s a whole separate animal. My kids LOVE gum and I thought that using gum as the reward for completing a chore would be a great idea. It is inexpensive, small and not messy (both boys have long hair and they know better than to play with it for fear of having to cut their hair…).
I created this printable chore list as a way to give them ideas of how they can help. But they are also free to come up with their own task. Most of the items on here are things that would help me out. As I mentioned above, sometimes it’s easier to take care of things yourself. But there are plenty of other small things that the kids can do that will really make a difference for me or teach them a life skill. If I can’t get them to learn to wipe their big huge globs of toothpaste out of the sink before they get married, I’ve failed at my job. So that is one of the items. Although I ask them to do this frequently, by placing it on their chore list, hopefully a switch will flip and they’ll realize that if they rinse the sink (and ultimately not gross out their future wife), they’ll get rewarded AND MAKE ME HAPPY! Because that’s really what it’s all about as a mom, right? ;)We don’t have a set time for them to do the chores. It’s about communicating and getting the kids to act on their own to help others. We taped the list up in my oldest son’s room where both boys can easily see it. The bright colors help it stand out and draw their eye to it. Plus they really like gum so they are pretty motivated.Although not exactly a chore, I put “practice violin” on the list because I want to encourage him to share his music with us. The idea of being forced to practice makes it less appealing. But by framing it in a new way, he is giving something to others. But I’ll be honest, we should earn a piece of gum for enduring this chore as well…
The goal is to raise responsible humans so I don’t police this system. I let them tell me when something has been done (but most of the time I know because I’m delighted that I didn’t have to do it and that they were thinking about me). I also allow them to get their gum reward themselves. It’s about honesty and only taking what they are supposed to. Since they like gum, they have been pretty consistent with chores. Each boy has their own spot to keep the gum they earn. My oldest keeps his in an empty jar in his bedroom. When he has friends over, he can share it with them or put it away to enjoy on his own later. He can easily see if he is low on gum or, if he has a play date coming up, he can earn more. My youngest keeps his in a little white box on his dresser. Because his friends are a little bit younger, we thought it would be best that you couldn’t see the gum. I would die if I found sticky gum all over because of play date gone wrong. Plus, my youngest is not as quick to do chores as his older brother is so he’s less likely to want to give away a piece of gum. Since gum is our primary non monetary reward for chores, I pick up these Extra® Gum 35-Stick packs at Walgreens. The kids love the Extra® Gum Spearmint flavor so I make sure that I always have it on hand for their rewards. I’m partial to the Extra® Gum Polar Ice® so I picked up a package of that too. These larger packs mean that I don’t have to constantly worry about if I have gum on hand. While they get a little sweet treat that they love, Extra® Gum has meant so much more than that for our family. The tag line, “Give Extra, get Extra” couldn’t be more in line with our chore system. Yes, they are rewarded for completing a task. But they are also learning how to be thoughtful of the other members of their family, lightening my load and learning how to “manage” their gum. With this day and age of instant gratification, having to wait to have a piece of gum or earn one, is extra meaningful. The new Extra® Gum 35-Stick pack comes in durable, recycled packaging that keeps the gum organized and tidy which I love. It’s easy for me to keep in location for the kids to access it without having gum spill out everywhere. Since these packs have more gum, I can also grab a piece to enjoy from time to time. And when we hop in the car, for long trips, these are easy to take along with us. Gum has always been a way for me to help my popping ears when I change elevations so I always try to make sure I toss this in my purse with me.
For your convenience…These larger Extra® Gum 35-Stick packs are easy to find at your local Walgreens. I found mine in the candy aisle. But they are also easy to find right in the check out line. I created the chore list as an idea starter for my kids. You can download the chore list printable for your own family. I left the spaces on the chore list blank so you can fill them in yourself with thought starters that would motivate your kids. Do your kids do chores regularly? What do you use for a non monetary reward?
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