As the final days of her second year are coming to a close I am working with my daughter on independence. It’s been a bittersweet experience. She has always been a clingy child who has barely allowed me to shower or go to the bathroom alone since her days of walking began at ten months of age. So in some ways this exercise of independence seems a little overdue. At the same time realizing that she can complete certain things without my assistance is more of a reminder to me that my role as her mother is changing. It isn’t a bad change, but things are different from when she was a dependent baby. I’m learning to let go and allow her opportunities to flourish on her own. Things I’ve always done for or with her I’m teaching her to do for herself. This is what led me to creating her first ever chore chart. The purpose of this chore chart is to instill in her the abilities and desire to accomplish necessary tasks while being able to track her progress and success. Here is a chronicle of the creation of her first ever chore chart:
Supplies: a dollar store clipboard, 1 bag of clothespins, 1 8.5×11″ sheet of paper, water color paints, paint brush, ruler, and a Sharpie marker
While Arianna was napping one day I took some time to paint and decorate the paper in her favorite colors: teal and purple. Once the paper dried I used the ruler and Sharpie to outline a chart table for the chores. My husband and I decided in advance on six activities for her to complete daily. I wrote out each task in plain letters that she can use in her exploration of words later on. Additionally, I used a rough picture of each job so that even though she can’t read yet she can identify each tasks by a photo. They are all age appropriate tasks which she can accomplish without assistance. Below the list of daily chores I made a block for each day of the week with the final block representing a reward which we decided would be money (A quarter for each day she completes all of her chores. That may seem cheap, but we are also hoping that it will lead to further lessons on saving and spending.)
When I introduced this concept and chart to my daughter she was extremely excited. She immediately rushed off to complete her jobs, as she calls them. Within a couple of hours of unveiling her chore chart she had completed day #1 successfully. It was really nice to have some help in tidying the house and a few extra moments to take care of myself. On day #2 I picked her up from her sitter and the moment we arrived home she was ready to get to work on her jobs. We are three days in and all three days have been successful and she is genuinely enjoying taking on this independence. I would recommend this idea for anyone with a toddler and especially for those who are working to grow their child’s independence. I’ve read quite a bit in the blog’o’sphere about the benefits of giving children responsibilities in the home and I’m already very pleased with the outcomes of this Toddler Chore Chart.