Daily Hygiene Behaviors are NOT Chores!
Chore Charts for Kids
Chore charts are wonderful tools to help teach kids responsibility, track chores and learn the rewards of working together as a family for common goals! How a family uses a chore chart is a personal choice. Chore charts can serve as checkoff lists, helping family members keep track of their weekly jobs. Or, chore charts can be incentivized to include a reward at the end of the day or week for completing the chores. Chore charts may also be connected to allowance or a behavior buck system that can teach kids about saving money.
Merriam Webster defines chores as “the regular or daily light work of a household or farm,” or “a difficult or disagreeable task.” The word chore can instill a feeling of dread in adults and kids alike! The word itself sounds heavy and difficult, conjuring up unpleasant images of tasks that must be done before all can have fun. Chore charts are designed to help the process of household work seem less overwhelming and more manageable, especially for kids.
But one mistake that parents, bloggers, and educators make is to label tasks like brushing teeth, combing hair, or taking a bath “chores.” These are healthy daily hygiene behaviors, not chores. And it’s important to teach kids the difference between taking care of their bodies and doing chores. Slipping daily hygiene into the category of “chores” can create the same sense of dread that a child feels when she has to do a chore before going out to have fun. It becomes a laborious task, a burden, something a child might learn to dislike.
To avoid this, stop using daily hygiene behaviors on your chore charts! It’s absolutely a must that kids learn the importance of brushing teeth daily, combing hair, taking a bath or shower, washing hands, or blowing their noses instead of wiping them on their shirts! Most importantly, parents need to model good hygiene and make it a standard part of a daily routine. Use daily routine checklists or daily hygiene charts to help guide a child so he can keep track of these behaviors. Even adults need checklists! But save your chore chart for actual chores!
by Joanne McNulty, MS, founder of Free Printable Behavior Charts, December 14, 2019