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Let’s Talk About: the Chore Chart (Free Printable Inside!)

In case you thought you were the meanest mom ever, I just printed out a chore chart and one of my children is crying because it’s “just so much work.”

(Let me know if you want a copy.)

When school was winding down, I decided that we needed a chore chart to keep the kidlets on track this summer.

“Oh, yes! A chore chart! They’ll do all the stuff on the list before playing video games or with friends! I’m a genius! (just like every other mom who has thought of this and successfully implemented said routine!)”

I set about in Picmonkey creating something I liked looking at after striking out on Amazon. If this was going to hang on my fridge, I, 1) did not want to have to rewrite it each week and 2) wanted it to be pretty. 🤷‍♀️

And then I didn’t print it out because why would I follow through?

Free printable chore chart graphic

I had really high hopes for working from home this summer and it being different than last summer. The kids are older now. Surely they’d be able to occupy their time while I get my work done. They would definitely understand and find stuff to do and self-regulate and clean their rooms when I told them to, right?

Hahahahaha. Pipe dream.

Emma, daily, asks if we can “do something fun.” But I can’t do “something fun” every day because, hi, I have to work to afford to do the fun things she wants to do like go roller skating, buy tons of craft supplies that will languish in her desk drawer, go to movies, take trips, etc.

Joshua, daily, grabs a video game or the TV remote and plugs in. Part of my brain screams that this is ruining his brain, but then the other, louder part of my brain says “well, you wanted him occupied so you could work…”

I reached a boiling point earlier this week and needed to regain a little control. Just a smidge. So I opened Picmonkey and printed out the chore chart I created a month ago. Finally.

I…no, I have no idea what took me so long.

In the past three days, I’ve learned that nothing—nothing at all—can simultaneously motivate and irritate my children quite like a chore chart.

The first two days were not smooth. There were wails of “I don’t understaaaaaaand” and “what do I do noooooow?” and “does 30 minutes mean THIRTY MINUTES?”

And then they just…started doing their chores. Independently. Without being asked.

(There is still resistance over taking the dog out. They do not like it. He is a space cadet who is scared of the sounds of grasshoppers and crickets and distracted by birds and it’s adorable but maddening because just hurry up and pee, Teddy!)

We’re also still working on the planning for weekly chores; specifically, which day of the week these chores need to be completed. The concept of a “weekly” chore is sort of amorphous to them somehow because weeks seem like such long periods of time.

I’ll probably adjust course and assign a day to each weekly chore to keep them organized.

For now, they really like being able to check off their boxes to see that they’ve done their chores for the day/week and know that it means they’ll get their allowance (if I remember to transfer money to their Greenlight cards).

Some of my Facebook Framily asked for a copy of the chore chart, so I’m happy to oblige. I took off our family-specific chores and removed references to dogs in case you’re a cat family. I also added blank lines to customize your chores.

Just click this link to snag your copy. 👇👇👇👇

Download your printable Chore Chart.

Pro-tip: To make this reusable week to week, you can print it out, write your custom chores, and laminate it. Or write your chores and put it in a picture frame! Then just use a dry erase marker to check the boxes and wash, rinse, repeat week to week.

I’m still refining our chart, so for now I’m just printing out copies and hanging them on the fridge. And for now, it’s working as is, so maybe no refining is necessary.

We’ll see.

(I hope this chore chart helps you, and if it does, please consider sharing it! Pin it. Link it. Let me know how it’s working for you.)

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