Tired of nagging your kids to get the same things done day after day? This kids daily responsibilities checklist is simple, but exactly what you need to set clear expectations and encourage personal accountability.
Simple is always best
As a mom of four kids ages 8 – 15 I’ve been around the chore chart block a few times. I’ve purchased expensive responsibility boards, designed pretty printables to hang on the fridge. I even attempted a popsicle stick system for a while – I tried all the things and nothing seemed to stick!
When it came to finding a responsibility system that actually works I’ve learned that it all boils down to one thing – keeping it simple! The success of our family’s responsibility system depends on its sustainability and simplicity is key! I’m excited to report that we’ve found a very basic system that’s working so well for us I had to share it with you in the hopes that it will be just as beneficial for you as it has been for our family.
Why a responsibility checklist
I first implemented this system for the after school hour. It was a crazy time of day and after nagging my kids over and over to get the same things done I’d had enough. I wrote a few things down on a sticky note one day and said, I’m not going to remind you anymore. Here’s what you need to do…now do it!
Things like putting backpacks away, eating and cleaning up snack, putting away folded laundry, and daily reading. If these basic things didn’t get done before dinner and the kids got wrapped up in screen time or playing with friends before completing these basic tasks then it would derail our entire evening.
During the summer months I’ve found that if the kids get up in the morning and get on screens or go out to play with friends before a few essential tasks are done then our day would get away from us. Jobs went undone, breakfast got missed, and laundry didn’t get put away regularly.
Our days, whether it’s during the school year or during the summer months, run so much smoother when we put first things first. Getting these essential responsibilities taken care of before play time begins and removing mom’s constant nagging from the equation has made such a difference!
The Value of Personal Responsibility
I want my kids to be responsible for the things they need to do on a daily basis to take care of their own bodies, their belongings, their school work and to contribute in our home by doing chores. Me constantly reminding them to do these things was not doing either one of us any favors. My kids didn’t want to be constantly reminded and I was robbing them of the opportunity to take personal accountability.
I believe there’s absolute truth in these words from Ann Landers…
“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”
How the Checklist Works
During the school year I leave the kids responsibilities checklists on the kitchen table for them when they get home after school. I add one daily job such as load or unload the dishwasher, empty the garbages, sweep the floor, etc. The rest of the responsibilities do not change throughout the week. I require the kids to do a 5-minute tidy which is a quick pick up in their own room. I wash and fold laundry during the day and the kids are responsible for getting their clothes from the laundry room and putting them away in their rooms.
The one hard and fast rule is no screen time or playing with friends until all their responsibilities are checked off.
During the summer I add a few more things to the kid’s lists to add a bit more structure to our days. The kids are still required to do 20 minutes of reading (or more if they’re participating in Mom’s Summer Reading Challenge!) as well as 30 minutes of exercise and 30 minutes of learning.
Exercise can be playing outside in the backyard, going for a bike ride, roller blading, doing a yoga video, walking the dog, etc. Learning can include doing a workbook, researching a topic, learning to make something, or doing a creative project.
The internet in our home remains paused in the mornings thanks to our Circle Disney. Based on past experience I just know that if the kids get on screens first thing in the morning our whole day tends to get away from us. Having them get up and get straight to work on their responsibility checklist in the morning is game changing. They have total control over how fast or slow they work through their list. They can choose what order they do things in. My kids have begun taking initiative on their own when it comes to their personal responsibilities thanks to these checklists and it’s so great to see!
Download Kids Daily Responsibility Checklist
Using the link below you can download a blank PDF version of the daily responsibilities checklist. If you’d like to customize your checklist save it to your computer. Open it in your favorite photo editing software and using the text tool add titles and chores to the checklist or simply fill your checklists out with a pen the old fashioned way!
We’ve opted to put our checklist in a page protector and the kids cross them off using an ultra fine tip expo marker. We wipe the page off at the end of the day and start again the next morning.
Jobs for hire
People have wondered if the kids are paid for the responsibilities on their checklist and the answer is no. These lists are things that are expected of them as contributing members of our family. That being said, I do believe in teaching them the value of earning money and spending it responsibly.
Outside of our kids expected chores, have a list of “jobs for hire.” I have an ongoing list of chores posted on the fridge with a set a price for each one. The kids know they’re welcome to take on money-earning jobs as long as they’ve completed their everyday, foundational responsibilities.
This simple checklist has been such a great tool in teaching my kids responsibility and eliminating a lot of the nagging I’ve had to do in the past. I hope its as useful in your home as it has been in ours!
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